The Human Rights Commission commends His Excellency, Dr. Edgar Lungu, the President of the Republic of Zambia for pardoning a total of 966 inmates in exercise of his constitutional prerogative of mercy powers during the celebration of Zambia’s 56th Independence Anniversary on 24th October 2020.

The pardoning of 886 men and 80 women from various Correctional Facilities across the country in line with Presidential Prerogative of Mercy Powers under Article 97 of the Constitution of Zambia [Amendment] Act No. 2 of 2016 is a commendable gesture of compassionate and respect for human rights and freedoms of vulnerable individuals.

It is a notable human rights record that among the pardoned were some inmates on death row, the aged, the chronically ill and others whose sentences were commuted from death to life sentences and from life sentences to terminable sentences.

The Commission calls upon the pardoned ex-inmates not to betray the confidence and trust shown in them by refraining from re-offending and instead lead an exemplary life of being law abiding citizens and of service to society at large.

Further, the Commission is appealing to the family and community members to provide a conducive environment for successful re-integration of the Correctional Service Graduates by, among other measures, avoiding stigmatising and discriminating them but accepting them as reformed individuals.

The Commission wishes to take this opportunity to commend the Zambia Correctional Service, various Faith-Based Organisations, Civil Society Organisations, the Private Sector and individuals for their continued guidance and counselling services, material, financial and spiritual support to inmates across the country in order to uphold their inherent rights and
dignity as human beings.

Finally, the Commission is calling for continued support of the human rights-based reforms being implemented by the Government following the Constitution of Zambia [Amendment] Act No. 2 of 2016 which transformed the then Prison Service to the current Zambia Correctional Service.

Issued by:

Mweelwa Muleya