President Edgar Lungu has pardoned 125 inmates from various correctional facilities countrywide through his prerogative of mercy.

In a statement today, Home Affairs Permanent Secretary Dr Chileshe Mulenga revealed that three of the pardoned inmates were senior citizens aged between 65 and 85 years.

“To commemorate the 2017 Christmas Day, the President of the Republic of Zambia and Commander-in-Chief of Armed forces, His Excellency Mr Edgar Chagwa Lungu has today the 24th of December 2017, pardoned 125 inmates based in various correctional centres throughout the Republic of Zambia. Three of these pardoned inmates are senior citizens aged between 65 and 86. The President’s amnesty is in accordance with the powers vested in him under Article 97 (I) (a) of the constitution of Zambia which provides for presidential pardon and substitution of severe punishment imposed on convicted persons,” Dr Mulenga stated.

He stated that President Lungu’s gesture went a long way in decongesting prisons.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs, staff of the Correctional service and inmates of the correctional centres throughout the country are grateful to His Excellency the President of the Republic of Zambia for exercising his prerogative of mercy at a time when correctional centres are extremely congested. The gesture alone goes a long way towards easing the lives of the inmates still in correctional centres and in upholding the rights and human dignity,” stated Dr Mulenga.

“We are confident that the pardoned persons have been rehabilitated and are ready for reintegration in society. Successful reintegration of former inmates is however largely dependent on the support of members of the immediate families and the communities of former inmates. Accordingly, we call upon the families of the pardoned inmates and members of the public at large to support the former inmates by not discriminating against them and giving them a second chance to find their feet as law abiding citizens. We should commemorate the birth of Christ by forgiving, sharing and picking one another up.”