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Zambian President pardons 1,000 inmates in Christmas celebration

Zambian President pardons 1,000 inmates in Christmas celebration
Hakainde Hichilema urges nation to exhibit love during festive period

By James Kunda

LUSAKA, Zambia (AA) - Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema pardoned 1,018 inmates nationwide Friday in celebration of Christmas.

Home Affairs and Internal Security Minister Jack Mwiimbu told reporters in the capital of Lusaka that 1,004 were ordinary inmates, five foreigners and nine elderly.

"Among the pardoned, 971 are males, while 47 are females," said Mwiimbu. "The presidential amnesty release does not include the condemned, lifers and long-term inmates."

Mwiimbu said the presidential prerogative of mercy was key in reducing the inmate population which currently stands at 23,293.

He said the government will in 2022 recruit 1,613 correctional officers to mitigate the inmate and staff deficit ratio.

"According to the international standard, the ratio of officer to inmates is one to four but that the current ratio is one to 12 and that this is unacceptable," he said. "A huge number of inmates have pending cases, appeals and confirmations since 2012 to date, a situation which is inhumane and a reason for congestion in prisons and correctional centers."

In a televised address, Hichilema urged citizens to use Christmas to share love amongst each other.

He said the period was not to be used to perpetrate malice and violence but to share with the needy as there was joy in giving.

Hichilema also urged the nation to keep safe from the coronavirus during festivities and encouraged increased vaccine uptake which was a proven intervention to fight the pandemic.

"Also remember to drive safely on the roads to reduce road carnage caused by human error," he added.

source: News Feed
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