RECENTLY pardoned murder convict Mathew Mohan says he feels sad that he was pardoned by an outgoing Head of State.
And Mohan has questioned the timing of his pardoning.
Meanwhile, Mohan says he is going to viciously fight against corruption because that is what almost got him killed.
Speaking when he featured on Simon Mwewa Lane TV Facebook page, Monday, Mohan said he did not have a sense of gratitude about being pardoned because it was the President’s responsibility to pardon deserving inmates.
“When you say outgoing, it just gives me different emotions. I think I was a very sad man. When I heard that I was pardoned by someone who was leaving office, I felt sad. Life is not all about what you want it is also about certain perceptions that are created. We have millions of people in this country and why was it done at that time? I was very sensitive and I felt if I was selfish I would have been very excited. I cannot lie. People that love me were very excited. I do not want to sound ungrateful and I also do not want to be seen to spend my time to say I am grateful to that person,” Mohan said.
“I should never be grateful because it is someone’s responsibility to do something so why should you be grateful? That is where corruption comes in. That is rubbish. When you are in a hospital and a doctor is making rounds and a patient is found ready to be discharged, should you be grateful to the doctor? It is a process that you have gone through to be healed. To me as an individual, I went through processes and if the correctional facility believed that I was a transformed person and they recommended and released me, then I am a happy man. But if it was done for the sake of just doing it then it is very sad because then I feel I was taken out by an illegitimate man.”
Mohan said he believed there were a lot of correctional officers who do not meet the grade because they had been working in a punitive system.
“I am happy that the correctional facility believed that they made those recommendations and believed that I was one of the people that was deserving. I have no right to say I deserved it because there are a lot of people who are incarcerated. I care about them and I intend to continue loving them and I will never stigmatize them in one way or another. There are a lot of correctional officers who I believe do not meet the grade of correctional officers because they have been working all these years in a punitive system and not a corrective system. The whole process was huge eye opener for me to see the poverty, levels of immorality and crime out there,” he said.
Mohan further said he felt disgusted by the PF empowerment programmes because they messed up the market system.
“Unfortunately, for the past few months the chicken project was disturbed due to the empowerment, sorry to say that was only vote buying. I felt disgusted that they actually messed up the chicken market. The country needs to ensure that business is run by businessmen. You just do not pick up chickens and give to someone who is a welder. You need to create systems in a country so that prices are maintained. The supply and demand is well managed. We reached a stage where companies where only giving us 300 to 400 chicks when the capacity from the poultry is 10,000. That was created because of not creating an enabling environment for the chicken production. In this new administration, we need to have systems in place to protect industries so that is it not polluted by appeasement. If I hear a politician standing there to say we are building more prisons, my answer to the entire population is that this government is not here to work. This government is just here to lock up more people because they cannot create opportunities for people,” Mohan said.
Mohan said he intended to hand over the Mukobeko business project to government in the next four years.
“To me, I was a leader there and I had a responsibility not to allow pettiness and jealousy to consume [me]. The whole purpose of me being there was to exhaust my life and doing the best I can do where I am. My aim was totally focused on creating value. If 10 projects are created across the country, we could have inmates become billionaires in the next five to 10 years. We could have inmates helping the government of the day reduce unemployment on the streets. We can have inmates in 10 provinces creating value addition in the country. To me we have inmates who can add assets into the balance sheet. I can tell you that three to four million Kwacha was put in to build that whole thing. I can tell you that in the next three or four years, I am giving it as a gift to the Treasury,” he said.
“I want to sustain it and create that value. When we contribute to the Treasury, the Zambia Correctional Service, government can start redirecting the resources to other projects. These initiatives created in correctional facilities to support inmates will also help sustain correctional facilities. I have committed myself that 40% of my time for the rest of my life will be towards creating value for the people that are incarcerated. Mukobeko project is a first of its kind which is going to be spread across the country for next three years. I will run them to create value so that 20 years from now we will look back with inmates going back home with something in their hands.”
Meanwhile, Mohan said he would viciously fight against corruption because that was what almost killed him.
“The prison set up is a depiction of society. If you say that prison is bad, that is how bad society is too. Be very careful how you create a certain decorum around being incarcerated. Incarceration is a process and it is part of society. There is a tendency of people trying to say people in prison are not part of society. Why do people want to distance themselves from them? I never wanted to spend my time looking at how bad it was. I looked at opportunities on how to make that place better,” said Mohan.
“I enjoyed the whole process and there is nothing wrong with it. Today, I am proud champion. I will stand up and viciously and violently fight corruption because corruption is what almost got me killed. To me, the way I have come out of it, it is not for me to start saying I am remorseful. I can pretend right now and say I am remorseful. I think my actions should speak about remorse. To me, my actions will speak louder than my words and I intend to fight corruption viciously and that is the path I have chosen. That should either tell the public that I am remorseful or not.”
Mohan was sentenced to death by hanging for the gruesome murder Cyclone Hardware director Sajid Itowala in 2009 but this was later reduced to a life sentence.
Former president Edgar Lungu pardoned him and 59 others a few days before his term of office ended after he lost the general election to President Hakainde Hichilema.