Minister of Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services, Monica Mutsvangwa says Cabinet considered and approved the proposed General Amnesty, which was presented by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.
As stated by Openparly, the proposed amnesty is targeted at all prisoners who have served at least one third of their sentences.
However, those convicted of specified offences such as the following: murder, treason, rape or any sexual offence, carjacking, robbery, stock theft, and public violence will not be pardoned.
Mutsvangwa also said there shall be full remission of sentence to be granted to all prisoners who would have served life imprisonment for at least 15 years commutation.
She added that the amnesty will decongest the prison institution whose population currently stands at 20 407 against the prison’s holding capacity of 17 000.
The minister said overpopulation already poses a health hazard, especially considering the COVID-19 pandemic.
Zimbabwe’s overcrowded prisons are struggling to feed inmates and buy them uniforms due to poor funding by the government.
In 2019, legislators that undertook a fact-finding mission at the country’s largest prison, Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, were told that the facility had erratic water supply and that inmates lacked adequate food, clothing and bedding.