Tanzanian Minister for Home Affairs George Simbachawene on Friday ordered police across the east African nation to stop arbitrary arrests of suspects saying prisons were already overcrowded.
“Police should stop keeping suspects behind bars for minor offences that are bailable or could be resolved out of court,” he said when he spoke to senior prisons officers at prisons department headquarters in the capital Dodoma.
“The prisons department is facing a challenge where the number of prisons awaiting trial in remand prisons is bigger than the number of inmates serving jail terms,” said Simbachawene.
Suleiman Mzee, the Commissioner General for Prisons, told the minister that currently there were 14,502 inmates serving jail terms and 17,396 prisoners in remand awaiting trial.
On December 9, 2019, Tanzanian President John Magufuli pardoned a record 5,533 prisoners serving jail terms across the country, saying the move was aimed at easing congestion in prisons. Enditem