President Edgar Lungu has commuted the sentences and pardoned 60 convicts. Among those pardoned are inmates serving sentences for defamation of the President, breastfeeding mothers, expectant women, the elderly, and the terminally ill.
President Lungu said the Gospel according to Matthew Chapter 18, and verses 21 to 22, says: “Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, ‘Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, ‘l tell you, not just seven times, but seventy-seven times!”
The President said he is therefore evoking the prerogative of mercy, pursuant to Article 97, I (a) of the Constitution of Zambia to forgive and pardon prisoners from various prisons around the country in accordance with the Republican Constitution and as a Christian.
The President said the people pardoned had learned their lessons and need to be helped to integrate into society so that they become useful citizens.
The President has further lifted suspensions of Zambia Prisons and Correctional Services officers who were suspended because of political activism.
The President has called upon the officers to be disciplined.
This is according to a statement issued by the President’s special assistant for press and public relations Mr Issac Chipampe.