Presidential amnesty jailbirds fly back

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The eight are Talent Tichaona and Last Banda from Karoi, Tawanda Gombera and Tendai Kamuzembi from Marondera, Antony Shava (Zvishavane), Unicq Kamwendo and Thomas Banda from Beitbridge and Ronald Mutukura from Plumtree.

Acting Zimbabwe Prison Services public relations officer Superintendent Elizabeth Banda said on Wednesday eight out of the 2 513 prisoners who benefited from the presidential amnesty last month committed various offences and were convicted and sent to jail.

The eight were arrested separately for offences ranging from receiving stolen property, unlawful entry, robbery and theft."Only eight of the total number of inmates who were released on amnesty are now back in custody for various offences. Two were arrested in Matabeleland, two in Manicaland, one in the Midlands and two in Mashonaland regions.

"Inmates stem from the community and as ZPS, we prepare them to fit back into the same society as productive members, but our efforts are nothing without the support of the community," said Sup Banda.

Speaking on the sidelines of the Seventh Day Adventist Church’s donation of 28 satellite dish sets, acting ZPS rehabilitation co-ordinator Chief Prison Officer Precious Chinamasa, said the department had equipped the inmates with skills and would only need the support of the community to sustain themselves.

"We have various programmes that are done in prison which are aimed at achieving total behavioural change and by the end of a prison term, we produce a person who will actually fit back into the society and contribute meaningfully to the nation," he said.

The amnesty was granted under section 311 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which was cited as Clemency order number 1 of 2009 and was published in the Government Gazette in August 2009.

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