President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Tuesday said that prisons are the safest places for people to be amid the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) across the world.
This comes on the back of cabinet approving the release of over 6 000 inmates serving jail time for various non-violent crimes.
Responding to a question from a reporter if the amnesty would go ahead amid coronavirus fears, Mnangagwa said the amnesty is not related to measures that have been put in place to curb the spread of the disease. Said Mnangagwa
The amnesty program has no relationship with the pandemic. In other measures, we are discouraging people from visiting their loved ones in prisons, that will be restricted. If there is a safer place now, it is the prison.
Zimbabwe’s prisons have a carrying capacity of 17 000 people but currently are home to 22 000 inmates.
A few months after becoming President, Mnangagwa granted amnesty to 3 000 prisoners in a bid to decongest prisons.