PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has pardoned 2,984 inmates from various correctional facilities across the country as part of commemoration of the African Freedom Day which falls on Monday, May 25.
Minister of Home Affairs, Stephen Kampyongo made this announcement at a press briefing in Lusaka.
Mr Kampyongo said among those pardoned include 155 females and 2,829 males males.
“These include 2,903 ordinary, 55 old aged, 03 medical cases, 11 compassionate, 09 on His Excellent’s pleasure and 12 foreign nationals,” Mr Kampyongo said.
The Minister explained that that the pardoning of the inmates was in line with powers vested in the President in the constitution.
He said the pardoned inmates represent about 14 percent of the total prison population which stand at 19,248 against the holding capacity of 9.500.
According to him, prison authorities and inmates have expressed gratitude to President Lungu as the move will result in decongestion.
Meanwhile, Mr Kampyongo said in an effort to further decongest the correctional facilities in the light of COVID-19 threat, his ministry engaged the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to consider giving bail or outright discharge to some of the over 4330 unconvicted inmates charged with minor or misdemeanor cases.
In this regard, he said, a total of 2,712 unconvicted inmates have been granted unconditional bail.