Zambia’s human rights body on Saturday commended President Edgar Lungu on his decision to pardon over 2,000 inmates to mark the Africa Freedom Day commemoration.
On Friday, Lungu pardoned 2,984 inmates — 2,829 males and 155 females.The Human Rights Commission said the move was commendable because in addition to reducing congestion in prison, it will also contribute to social cohesion, reduction of crime and national productivity.
The pardoning of the ex-inmates also means that their liberty has been restored and that they could now go back and become productive members of the community.
“The pardoning has provided an opportunity to ex-inmates to utilize their entrepreneurship skills the ex-inmates were learning in the Correctional Facilities and this has potential to contribute to reducing household poverty and hunger as well as national food security,” Mwelwa Muleya, the human rights body’s spokesperson said.
According to him, the decongestion of correctional facilities means that the risk of contracting and spreading the coronavirus in those facilities has been reduced and that is a commendable executive decision in the fight against COVID-19.
The pardoning of the ex-inmates has resulted in the reduction in prison population to 19,248.