‘Prison Floodgates Open’: Over 4 000 inmates freed in Zimbabwe presidential amnesty


Thousands of prisoners in Zimbabwe are preparing for freedom after President Emmerson Mnangagwa granted a presidential amnesty allowing the release of over 4,000 non-violent offenders.

The Zimbabwe Correctional and Prison Services (ZCPS) says 4,270 inmates are eligible for release, including 4,166 men and 104 women. Terminally ill female prisoners and juvenile offenders convicted of non-serious crimes are among those set to be freed.

Harare Metropolitan Province has the highest number of inmates eligible at 790, including 20 women and 770 men. The regions with the next highest numbers of eligible prisoners are:

• Bulawayo Metropolitan – 688 (680 men, 8 women)
• Matabeleland North – 231 (1 woman, 230 men)
• Mashonaland East – 397 (39 women, 358 men)
• Mashonaland West – 340 (7 women, 333 men)

The ZCPS is urging the public and families of the released inmates to accept and forgive them, to help facilitate their reintegration into society. ZCPS spokesperson Chief Superintendent Meya Khanyezi said successful reintegration requires the help of all Zimbabwean citizens. She appealed for people to “forgive and embrace” the released inmates.

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