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President Emmerson Mnangagwa Allows Clemency To Prisoners

President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa has issued a clemency order aimed at de-congesting national prisons and improving living conditions for inmates. Numerous prisoners are set to benefit from the release following a meticulous process of verifying potential beneficiaries.

While granting amnesty to several thousand prisoners may be seen as an act of humanity, the initiative is not without concern for populations wary of the early and collective release of individuals convicted of crimes and offenses.

The Clemency Order grants amnesty to various categories of prisoners throughout Zimbabwe. Section 12(d) of the Clemency Order stipulates that some prisoners will be excluded from the proposed general amnesty, including those convicted of committing specified offenses.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has voiced serious concerns on the government’s decision to free some prisoners from the nation’s jails, particularly those who have been found guilty of sexual offences.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa signed Clemency Order No. 1 of 2023 into law on May 12, 2023, using his power of mercy to free a number of criminals from prisons around the nation. Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services applauded the decision since it aims to lower the number of people incarcerated.

Certain prisoners, including those found guilty of certain crimes, will not be eligible for the proposed broad amnesty, according to Section 12(d) of the Clemency Order.

Rape and other sexual offences are included in the definition of “specified offence” under Section 13(c) of the Clemency Order.

Those who have completed one-tenth of their sentence and are 60 years of age or older are examples of such exclusions.

The release of sexual offenders dramatically lessens the significance of sexual offences, which shocked and disappointed ZLHR.


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