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The Government of Zimbabwe is Set to Release Many Inmates to Minimize Overcrowding in Prisons

The Zimbabwean government has given an amnesty for inmates who have served at least a quarter of their sentences. There government disclosed this information to journalists during a post-cabinet press briefing on Tuesday evening. The minister of information and broadcasting services Monica Mutsvangwa said the amnesty would minimize overcrowding in Zimbabwens Prisons.

The Minister said the proposed amnesty is mainly directed at all inmates who have served at least a quarter of their sentences. But this amnesty will not be given to inmates who are sentenced for the following offences; murder, treason, rape or any sexual offence, carjacking, robbery, stock theft and public violence.

The Minister proceeded to say there shall be full remission of sentence to be granted to all inmates who would have served life imprisonment for at least 15 years in jail. He believed that the amnesty will minimize overcrowding in prisons which it's population is now standing at 20 407, instead of 17 000 which their prison are not even designed to hold. This overcrowding is a serious treat to health hazards, especially with the issue of Covid-19 terrorizing the world. The Republic of Zimbabwe have 46 Correctional facilities and all of them are overpopulated. These Correctional facilities were built only to hold collectively 14 000 inmates.

These prisons are also struggling to feed inmates and provide enough health care services because of the poor funding by the government. Inmates, like anti-corruption activist Hopewell Chin'ono have said that prisons are unhealthy, overcrowded and they do not have running water in cells for inmates to comply with health protocols of Covid-19.From March 2020 and June 2020, the Zimbabwean government have released more than 4 000 inmates in a plan to minimize overcrowding and stop the spread of Coronavirus. This is a good move for the government of Zimbabwe to release these inmates so that she can't cry foul for inmates who will lose their lives as the results of unsafe living conditions in prisons.

You can also see that the government had no choice but to release even inmates who are doing life terms. Normally inmates who are doing long sentences like those who are sentenced to life imprisonment are not given amnesty because they are classified as most dangerous people who are not supposed to live with communities again. But the situation of Coronavirus have forced the government of Zimbabwe to do the unthinkable. And the economic situation of the country does not allow the government to fund prisons with enough money because even people who are outside are also struggling.

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Source:https://www.timeslive.co.za/news/africa/2021-03-17-zimbabwe-grants-amnesty-to-prisoners/

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Monica Mutsvangwa Zimbabwe Zimbabwean

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