By Nation Reporter
THE pardoning of 336 prisoners by President Edgar Lungu through a presidential amnesty in commemoration of Zambia’s 52nd Independence anniversary will help decongest the overcrowded prisons, Commissioner General of Prisons Percy Chato has said.
Mr Chato expressed gratitude to President Lungu for exercising the powers vested in him by Article 59 of the Constitution, adding that the gesture had greatly contributed to the decongestion of prisons.
The Commissioner General urged the pardoned prisoners to prove that they have reformed and live up to the expectations of society and not engage in criminal activities.
Mr Chato also urged the society to accept the former inmates and treat them as their own because these people came from society before they were sent to prison.
The Church has also been urged to embrace ex-convicts and ensure that they were accepted by society and not to discriminate or victimize them.
On the eve of the 52nd Independence anniversary on Sunday, President Lungu pardoned 336 prisoners as part of the commemorations yesterday.
Mr Lungu freed the prisoners in exercise of powers vested in him under Article 59 of the Constitution of Zambia which empowers the Head of State to exercise prerogative of mercy.
“As we celebrate 52 years of our Independence tomorrow, I have extended a gesture of goodwill to these people by pardoning a total of 336 prisoners,” President Lungu said.