JUST IN: Prisons boss breaks silence on rapist Bobby Makaza’s early release


The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Commissioner-General, Shepherd Mpofu, has denied that convicted rapist Bobby Makaza’s release under a presidential amnesty was irregular.

Makaza was released in May 2022 after serving less than five years of his 16-year sentence for rɑping a juvenile. His early release has sparked public outcry and condemnation from human rights lawyers.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), on behalf of the victim’s parents, filed a court application seeking Makaza’s re-arrest. They argued his release was illegal as rɑpists are not eligible for presidential amnesty.

However, in a response filed on July 31, Commissioner-General Mpofu stated that Makaza was correctly released after assessing his age and identity.

Mpofu said Makaza benefited from Clemency Order 1 of 2023, which granted full remission of sentence to prisoners aged 60 and above, except those sentenced to life imprisonment, death or convicted of public violence.

Mpofu described suggestions that Makaza was ineligible as “malicious and ridiculous”. President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and Police Commissioner Matanga are named as respondents in the court case.

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