PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu has released 502 convicted prisoners to commemorate Christmas Day which falls today.
The pardoned inmates included two prisoners aged 75 and 83 who were serving various jail sentences at different prisons across Zambia.
President Lungu in exercising his Prerogative of Mercy pursuant to Article 59 (d) of the Constitution of Zambia, CAP 1 of the Laws of Zambia has signed the Order of Release.
The President’s special amnesty has been extended to various prisons in all the country’s 10 provinces as follows: Central ,72 Copperbelt 151 Lusaka 19 ,Southern 42, North Western 29,Northern 44, Muchinga,24, Western, 17, Luapula,35 and Eastern69.
“On the occasion of the celebration of Christmas, the celebration of the birth of our Saviour Jesus Christ, I have decided to extend a hand of mercy and compassion to our dear friends facing different jail sentences in various prisons countrywide in order to avail them an opportunity to reform and return to normal society.’’
“It is my sincere hope that the recipients of this pardon will do their very best to contribute to society positively, as a way of paying back for the mercy that society has shown to them.’’
Meanwhile, the President in his Christmas message to Zambians has called on the people of Zambia to find time to spend with their families and if they could extend their help to the needy in society during this festive season.
In a statement issued by his press aide Amos Chanda, the President said:
“On this occasion, I want to urge all citizens to join me in reflecting on the meaning of life as individuals and collectively as a nation in the collective spirit of promoting our cherished One Zambia One Nation motto which knows no tribal barriers, no religious divide and indeed no other divisive tendencies.’’
‘’It is time to ensure that as we celebrate the birth and life of our Saviour Jesus Christ, we do so responsibly, caring for one another, respecting one another and importantly those who have, extending.”