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Mnangagwa amnesty to benefit 5 000 prisoners

by Staff reporter
04 Mar 2020 at 08:08hrs | Views
CABINET yesterday approved a general amnesty that will see a minimum of 5 000 inmates test freedom in a bid to decongest the prisons currently holding in excess of 22 000 prisoners against a carrying capacity of 17 000.

Addressing a post-Cabinet briefing, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa said the amnesty, to benefit specified categories of prisoners, would decongest the country's prisons and alleviate challenges being experienced by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS).

"Cabinet considered and approved the proposal to have a general amnesty as presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs," Mutsvangwa said.

"Cabinet noted that the country's prison population currently stands at 22 000 against an official holding capacity of 17 000. The general amnesty, which will be for certain specified categories of prisoners, will decongest the country's prisons and alleviate challenges being experienced by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services."

Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said about 5 000 to 6 000 imamates would be released to reduce the number of inmates to match the prisons' carrying capacity.

"We will reduce the number of inmates to match the carrying capacity of our prisons, which stands at 17 000. So 5 000 to 6 000 will be freed," he said.

Zimbabwe is experiencing economic problems which have made feeding the inmates a tall order in the face of hyperinflation and shortage of goods triggered by lack of foreign currency.

Cabinet also said it received a report on the 25th Conference of Parties which the Environment minister Mangaliso Ndlovu attended in Madrid, Spain, from December 2 to 13, 2019.

Parties at the conference agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with the Paris Agreement through their nationally determined contributions, to be achieved by 2030, and this would mean the banning of coal, which has been a huge source of energy to Zimbabwe.

"Zimbabwe, together with other developing countries, are concerned by the call to phase out coal usage in thermal energy generation and other industrial processes. This is in view of the dwindling water resources in the country owing to recurrent droughts which in turn constrain hydroelectric power generation," Mutsvangwa said.

"The country will, however, continue to explore alternatives and renewable sources of energy in place of coal. Dialogue will also need to be initiated with Sadc member States on the implications of the call to phase out the use of coal in order to arrive at a common position which can be articulated at International fora."

Cabinet was also briefed by Sports minister Kirsty Coventry on the inspection tour of the National Sports Stadium to assess Zimbabwe's preparedness to host international matches.

"Cabinet noted that corrective action is in progress and all effort is being made to ensure that the country hosts international matches, in particular Confederation of African Football (Caf)," she said.

Zimbabwe might be forced to play away from home on its home games after Caf condemned all local stadiums.

Source - newsday