President Michael Sata has presented New Year presents to 59 female prisoners ordering their release as part of the celebrations.
The announcement is contained in a press statement by his spokesperson George Chellah on the eve of New Year.
According to Chellah, the 59 were selected from prisons across the country with 12 of them above 60 years old while another four are expectant mothers.
Below is a statement from State House
PRESIDENT SATA ORDERS RELEASE OF 59 FEMALE PRISONERS
LUSAKA, Monday, December 31, 2012 – His Excellency Mr Michael Chilufya Sata, President of the Republic of Zambia, has released 59 female prisoners countrywide as part of this year’s New Year celebrations.
This is according to an Order of Release signed by the Head of State dated December 28, 2012. President Sata signed the order in exercise of the powers vested in him by Article 59 (d) of the Constitution of Zambia.
Out of the 59 female prisoners, 43 are inmates with children, 12 are aged [above 60 years] and four (4) are expectant mothers.
The rationale behind the President’s decision is to decongest the extremely crowded prison facilities countrywide as well as reintegrate prisoners into society. In fact, this move has also resulted in the freeing of about 50 children who are below the age of three whose mothers were serving various sentences.
President Sata has counselled the released inmates to show exemplary behaviour and prove to the society that indeed they have reformed.
SPECIAL ASSISTANT TO THE PRESIDENT FOR PRESS AND PUBLIC RELATIONS