PRESIDENT Edgar Chagwa Lungu pardoned 2,984 inmates from various Correctional Facilities across the country in commemoration of Africa Freedom Day, which falls on May 25, 2020.
Briefing the press yesterday, home affairs minister Stephen Kampyongo explained that those released include 2,903 ordinary, 55 on account of age, three medical cases, 11 compassionate, nine at the President’s pleasure and 12 foreigners.
He said 155 of those pardoned were females while 2,829 were males.
“The release of 2,984 inmates today leaves the inmates population countrywide at 19,248,” he said.
Kampyongo said the President’s action was accordance with article 97 of Republican constitution, which provides for Presidential pardon and substitution of severe punishments imposed on convicted persons.
And Kampyongo said in efforts to further decongest Correctional Facilities in the light of the COVID-19 threat, his ministry had engaged the Director of Public Prosecution to consider giving bail or outright discharge to over 4,330 currently facing minor offences.
“You may wish to note that today, Zambia Correctional Services have an inmate population of over 22,200 against the actual holding capital of 9,500. However, with the completion of the two ultra-modern Correctional Facilities at Mwembeshi, the congestion in the facilities would be lessened,” Kampyongo said.
And Kampyongo assured that the pardoned persons have been rehabilitated and were ready for reintegration in society.