President Robert Mugabe, has granted amnesty to all female prisoners regardless of offences or crimes with the exception of those on death row and those serving life sentences.
Those who remained locked up are prisoners’ still awaiting trial in remand and foreigners, who will need to be deported upon release and as such logistics and further government to government talks will need to be ironed out to facilitate the release of these foreign nationals who populate the Zimbabwean jails.
The amnesty to release the female prisoners was published in Government Gazette No 36, general notice 85/2016.
There was no reason given for this pardon of the female prisoners. As of Wednesday last week a lot excited female prisoners had been freed.
Some analysts have said that the Zimbabwe Prison Services (ZPS) has been struggling to feed inmates and this is believed to be the single motivator to the amnesty.
Zimbabwe’s prison population is reported to be over 20000 however, the capacity that the prison facilities are designed to carry is 17000 meaning that the ZPS is currently faced with issues of over population in the prisons.
Prisoners have died of starvation in 2015 it was reported that more than 5 inmates had died as a direct result of hunger.
The biggest maximum security prison Chikurubi had riots after prisoners protested over food shortages.