By Tafadzwa Chigandiwa
President Emmerson Mngangagwa has authorised the amnesty on prisoners serving lighter sentences and those who have served over one third of their sentences.
This comes after the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) requested for the amnesty in an effort to decongest jails and curb the spread of Covid-19.
In an interview with the media during his tour of Beitbridge prison, ZPCS commisioner general, Moses Chihobvu said the next step was to identify prisoners who qualify for the amnesty.
“President ED has today (Tuesday) signed our request to offer amnesty to some prisoners. What is only left is to gazette the new order so that we may be able to release those who qualify,” he said.
Chihobvu added that ZPCS has suspended the visits from family and friends so as to limit the transmission of Covid-19 infections.
Clothes from outside the prisons have also been banned and more Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs) have been provided in the correctional centers.
“We have deployed more face masks, hand washing basins, sanitizers and other disinfecting chemicals to prisons,” he added.
Between March and June 2020 government released over 4 000 prisoners nation wide to ease overcrowding and mitigate the spread of Covid-19.