Home Affairs Minister Jack Mwiimbu says President Hichilema has exercised his Prerogative of mercy as provided by the Constitution.
Mr. Mwiimbu says the pardoning of inmates is also part of Zambia’ 58th Independence Anniversary.
The Minister says those that have been pardoned are ordinary inmates, the aged and some foreign nationals.
Mr. Mwiimbu was speaking at a press briefing in Lusaka today.
He further explains that to enhance transparency, his Ministry in September last year launched the guidelines for members of the advisory committee on prerogative of mercy to help the committee make recommendations to President Hichilema to pardon inmates.
And Mr. Mwiimbu has disclosed that as of 06 hours today, the total number of inmates stands at 24, 704 of which 653 are female while the rest are males.
Meanwhile, the Minister said plans are underway to decongest correctional facilities by building more centres to create space.
Mr. Mwiimbu also urged the judiciary to explore alternatives of sentencing for minor cases stating that this will go a long way in decongesting correctional centres.
He pointed out that Government is aware that there are challenges of water and sanitation in correctional centres and is committed to address them.
Meanwhile, Mr. Mwiimbu thanked the people of Kabushi and Kwacha constituencies for voting peacefully without violence during last Friday’s parliamentary by elections.