24 PARDONED PRISONERS BACK BEHIND BARS

Total of 24 inmates, including five women, who were released on Presidential Amnesty are back in prison hardly two weeks after gaining freedom.

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A record 4 912 prisoners have been released from various prisons countrywide through President Mnangagwa’s Clemency Order last month.

Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Elizabeth Banda said they were investigating reasons why pardoned inmates were back in the cells. “So far, we have released 4 912 inmates from all the prisons countrywide,” she said. “We have 24 inmates who have come back.

“We are investigating the reasons behind that and what really transpired. “If they have come back on the same offence that they were serving before, we will find out why they committed the same offence.”

Asst Comm Banda said the inmates could have committed crimes because the community was not accommodating them.

“It could be the society is not welcoming them and they then think of a place they can escape to and come back to prisons or it could be that they are habitual criminals,” she said.
“From the 24 who have been arrested, I know one of them is a habitual criminal. Five of those re-arrested are women.”

Asst Comm Banda said inmates pardoned on remission of sentence or on medical grounds would be the last batch of prisoners to be released on amnesty as medical teams were still conducting assessments on their conditions.

President Mnangagwa pardoned all terminally ill prisoners serving long terms irrespective of offences committed and those deemed not fit to complete their sentences due to ill health.

“The ill inmates are yet to be released because they need two doctors to check them as we can’t rely on the assessment of one doctor,” she said.

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