Mnangagwa Grants Amnesty To Prisoners

By Judith Matanire

President Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe has granted full remission of sentences to various categories of prisoners.

In a presidential decree published in a recent government gazette, President Mnangagwa announced a significant amnesty for certain categories of prisoners. The proclamation, made under section 112(1)(a) and (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, outlined the criteria for the remission of sentences.

For convicted female inmates, excluding those convicted of specified offenses, a full remission of the remaining period of imprisonment was granted, provided they had served at least one-third of their sentence by April 18, 2024.

Similarly, all juvenile inmates under the age of eighteen were eligible for full remission of the remaining period of imprisonment if they had served one-third of their sentence by the same date. Age verification would be conducted based on birth certificates or dental age estimation.

Additionally, prisoners serving sentences of forty-eight months or less, who had served one-third of their term by April 18, 2024, were granted full remission, except for those convicted of specified offenses.

Moreover, inmates certified as terminally ill by either a Correctional Medical Officer or a Government Medical Officer were also eligible for full remission of their remaining sentence.

However, the amnesty explicitly excluded inmates charged under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act [Chapter 9:23].

This move by President Mnangagwa aims to alleviate prison overcrowding and provide relief to certain categories of prisoners, particularly women, juveniles, and those with terminal illnesses. It reflects efforts towards criminal justice reform and humanitarian considerations within the Zimbabwean legal system. *Nhau/Indaba*

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