PRESIDENT Lungu has today pardoned and released 177 prisoners in commemoration of Africa Freedom Day.
Ministry of Home Affairs head of public relations Moses Suwali said in a statement yesterday that President Lungu has commuted the sentences of 54 condemned prisoners to life sentences while 41 inmates jailed to life imprisonment will serve 25-year jail sentences.
“The released prisoners were selected from various prisons across the country which included Mukobeko Maximum Prison.
“This is the first time in the history of Zambia to have some inmates from Mukobeko Maximum Prison considered for release during the commemoration of African Freedom Day,” Mr Suwali said.
He said the move demonstrates Government’s commitment to finding a lasting solution to the persistent problem of overcrowding in prisons, which is in line with the Patriotic Front (PF) manifesto of decongesting prisons.
And Ministry of Home Affairs is confident that the released inmates have been adequately rehabilitated and will become responsible and productive members of the society.
Mr Suwali said Government is resolved to holistically rehabilitate inmates by empowering them with gainful hands-on skills so that they become productive members of the society once released.
He said this is in line with Government’s policy of turning Zambia Prisons Service into a correctional service.
Mr Suwali said the purpose of prisons is not to punish offenders and make them worse but to instead rehabilitate them so that they are moulded into productive members of the society.