STEVEN MVULA, Lusaka
PRESIDENT Lungu has pardoned 428 inmates countrywide on the occasion of Africa Freedom Day which is commemorated on this day every year.
Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo said in a statement yesterday that President Lungu has further commuted long prison terms of 11 inmates to various shorter terms of imprisonment.
“President Lungu has exercised his prerogative of mercy in accordance with the powers vested in the President of the Republic of Zambia by Article 97 (1) of the Constitution of Zambia, which provides for presidential pardon and substitution of severe forms of punishment imposed on convicted persons,” Mr Kampyongo said.
He said the Ministry of Home Affairs is grateful to the President for exercising his prerogative of mercy because the correctional services are extremely congested.
“The President’s noble gesture is a step in the right direction as it is a very big contribution to the decongestion of correctional centres and the upholding of the rights of inmates,” the minister said.
Mr Kampyongo said the move will also ease the lives of inmates who are yet to serve their various prison terms.
“We are confident that the pardoned persons have been rehabilitated and are ready for reintegration in society. Successful reintegration of former inmates, however, largely depends on the support of members of the community.
“We therefore appeal to members of the public not to discriminate against former inmates but to embrace them and help them find their feet as law abiding citizens,” Mr Kampyongo said.