By SIMON MUNTEMBA
PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has pardoned 579 inmates from various correctional facility centres across the country to commemorate the African Freedom Day.
Announcing the pardoning of the inmates at a media briefing yesterday, Home Affairs Permanent Secretary, Masiye Banda, said the pardoned inmates under the President’s prerogative of mercy, were 548 males and 31 females.
Mr Banda explained that 562 were ordinary inmates, while 17 were detained under the President’s pleasure.
In percentage terms, he added, they represented three percent of the total inmates’ population which stands at 22, 520.
Mr Banda said President Lungu’s decision to pardon the inmates would partly address the congestion in correctional centres.
He also said their release would greatly help to increase the social distancing in the correctional centres to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Mr Banda said Government has improved the health and welfare of inmates by taking strides in the prevention of Covid-19 in the correctional centres.