Inmates at Mukobeko Maximum Security Correctional Facility have condemned opposition leaders and FODEP for urging President Edgar Lungu not to pardon them this year.
Some opposition parties and Foundation for Democratic Process (FODEP) Executive Director George Chimembe challenged the President’s prerogative when he said his organisation was against the pardoning of inmates because 2021 was an election year.
President Lungu pardoned 579 inmates to commemorate the 2021 Africa Freedom Day, which fell on 25th May every year.
One of the inmates Saidi Banda said the law empowered the Head of State to exercise clemency on convicted persons following wide consultations.
Mr Banda said the President’s action was always in accordance with Article 97 of the Republican Constitution, which provided for Presidential pardon and substitution of severe punishments imposed on convicted persons.
Another Inmate Chansa Chitika said President Lungu had shown care for inmates as he had always exercised his prerogative of mercy on days such as Independence Day and Africa Freedom Day.
Mr Chitika said President Lungu cared for inmates because he was the first Head of State to allow them to vote.