The Ministry of Home Affairs has clarified that the law that empowers inmates with a two weeklong leave to visit their families has been in existence since 1965.
Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Masiye Banda says government’s desire is to have a prison service where human rights for inmates are respected.
Mr. Banda says government means well for inmates and the safety of the general public adding that it will do everything possible to ensure that the safety of its citizens remains a priority.
He adds that contrary to what was reported in some sections of the media, the objectives of the signed act include repealing and replacing the prison act of 1965 among others.
Mr. Banda says the Zambian Correctional Service Bill of 2021 will now strengthen the operations of the service and give effect to the paradigm shift from being a punitive institution to a correctional system.
He has further clarified that the clause of giving licenses to prisoners serving life sentences has always been in the statutes but despite being provided for, none of the Commissioners of the service has ever invoked the act.
Mr. Banda adds that the provision has been added to the new Correctional Service Act and its application shall still remain the discretion of the Commissioner General.
He has since advised members of the public to familiarize themselves with the Correctional Service Act and appreciate its reformatory objectives.
Meanwhile, Mr. Banda says the ministry and the correction service are saddened by the alleged barbaric act by inmates Joseph Chiteta and Miles Malaya, who were moved to Mukobeko Medium Prison after having served part of their long sentences at Mukobeko Maximum Prison.
He says the suspects escaped from Kabwe Medium Security Correctional Centre’s Mukuyu Correctional Farm on April 7th 2021 after committing nine murder cases and was recaptured on May 23rd after 46 days at large on the Copperbelt.
Mr. Banda says the Zambia Police Service are investigating the matter and shall ensure that no stone is left unturned.