Former Defence Minister George Mpombo has thanked Acting President Dr Guy Scott for the Christmas Day presidential pardon which saw him walk to freedom.
Dr Mpombo who was serving a nine month prison term for forgery and uttering of false documents was released alongside Mufumbwe MP Steven Masumba on presidential pardon.
In an interview, Dr Mpombo said the three months he spent in prison was a hair-raising experience due to the poor standards of prisons in Zambia.
‘It is great to be out of the dungeon, you know Zambian prisons just like everywhere else operate under very lugubrious conditions,’ Dr Mpombo said.
He said there is a lot of work that needs to be done to bring Zambian prisons to standards that could be termed acceptable.
“It is great to be out of the dungeon, you know Zambian prisons just like everywhere else operate under very lugubrious conditions”
Dr Mpombo continued, ‘otherwise it has been a hair raising experience and I salute the officers that are manning these prisons, they are doing their best under very difficult situation, they operate under very poor conditions of service, most of them their offices have no furniture with dim promotion prospects, it is hell of an environment for them.’
He said government must critically look at the situation in prisons and ensure that prisoners and prison staff are well taken care of.
And asked about his political future, Dr Mpombo who is also President of the opposition People’s Democratic Party said he will consult with his family before deciding his next political move.
He also rubbished sentiments that he has been released in order to help with the PF presidential campaigns in rural Copperbelt where UPND President Hakainde Hichilema seems to have penetrated.
Dr Mpombo said he has never held any meeting with any PF official in prison or upon his release saying such sentiments should be ignored.