Zambian president pardons 961 prisoners

Zambia's President Edgar Lungu in Paris, France, on February 8, 2016.PHOTO | AFP
Zambian President Edgar Lungu. (Photo by Minasse Wondimu Hailu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Zambian President Edgar Lungu has pardoned 961 prisoners as part of the Christmas and New Year celebrations, a government official said on Tuesday.

Stephen Kampyongo, Minister of Home Affairs said out of the pardoned prisoners, 857 are males while 104 are females.

The Zambian minister told reporters during a press briefing that out of the pardoned prisoners, 903 were inmates serving short term sentences ranging from five to six months while three prisoners had their death sentences commuted to life imprisonment.

He expressed gratitude to the Zambian president for exercising his prerogative of mercy powers by pardoning prisoners especially at a time when the correctional facilities were extremely congested.

He further revealed that the country’s prison population stood at 22,823.