Saturday, July 20, 2024

Pardoned Prisoners not happy with Calls by NGOs and Opposition for the President not to pardon them in an election year

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Inmates at Mukobeko Maximum Security Correctional Facility have condemned opposition leaders and FODEP for urging President Edgar Lungu not to pardon them this year.

Some opposition parties and Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) Executive Director George Chimembe challenged the President’s prerogative when he said his organisation was against the pardoning of inmates because 2021 was an election year.

President Lungu pardoned 579 inmates to commemorate the 2021 Africa Freedom Day, which fell on 25th May every year.

One of the inmates Saidi Banda said the law empowered the Head of State to exercise clemency on convicted persons following wide consultations.

Mr. Banda said the President’s action was always in accordance with Article 97 of the Republican Constitution, which provided for Presidential pardon and substitution of severe punishments imposed on convicted persons.

Another Inmate Chansa Chitika said President Lungu had shown care for inmates as he had always exercised his prerogative of mercy on days such as Independence Day and Africa Freedom Day.

Mr. Chitika said President Lungu cared for inmates because he was the first Head of State to allow them to vote.

12 COMMENTS

  1. Point of correction. It is not the president that has allowed prisoners to vote; it is the law.

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  2. There are 23,000 prisoners in Zambia. What would stop a renegade President pardoning all of them in an election year to gain advantage over his opponent?

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  3. THERE ARE JUST TOO MANY PRISONERS IN ZAMBIA. MOST OF THEM WITH LESS DANGEROUS CRIME TAGS SHOULD BE PARDONED IN ORDER TO MAKE PRISON CONDITIONS HUMAN. MMOST OF THEM BAIBILE FYE CHIBWABWA MU GARDEN YABA NEIGHBOUR.

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  4. Kindly request your MP to introduce a bill in parliament to amend the Law. If it does pass, it will be as you wish.

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  5. My only worry is that PF has been pardoning prisoners enmass. Costs a lot of money to arrest a criminal up to a point of conviction. We do not know if these prisoners have reformed or what! Better we know which prisoner has been released and what crime he committed to give comfort to society.

    Crime levels and n Zambia are skyrocketing because PF has been exploiting this loophole for too long now!

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  6. There is no need for Mr. Chansa Chitika and Saidi Banda to complain about the opposition and Fodep as being the release of Prisoners but the main fear is being an election year their concern is gaining undue advantage nothing else. Its just this year being an election every action is deemed political.

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  7. There is a parole board which recommends who is eligible for early release.
    The prerogative of mercy being referred to here is to favour a few high profile prisoners with no chance for parole in the next 5 years.

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  8. Do not worry. The president does not make decisions because opposition tell him to. He will consider and make his own mind up.

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  9. In an election year, there must be no clemency? What ignorance is this? The same law that allowed jailbirdss to vote, also provided for their release from jail. It is also true that the president signed into law provisions that for the first time in Zambia allowed inmates to vote. Thus, Edgar Lungu made them become voters.

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