Zimbabwe will be releasing at least 5,000 prisoners to reduce food shortages at correctional facilities as the southern Africa country struggles with a collapsing economy.
The move is meant to decongest prisons that have 22,000 inmates against a carrying capacity of 17,000, Information Minister Monica Mutsvangwa said.
“Cabinet considered and approved a proposal to have a general amnesty for prisoners,” Ms Mutsvangwa told journalists in Harare.
“The general amnesty, which will be for certain specified categories of prisoners, will certainly decongest the country’s prisons and alleviate challenges being experienced by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services.”
Two years ago, President Emmerson Mnangagwa pardoned 3,000 prisoners to reduce overcrowding.
The pardon benefited female prisoners except those sentenced to death or facing life sentences.