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Chakwera Pardons 49 Prisoners as Malawi Celebrates Easter

The President of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera, has granted clemency to 49 prisoners as part of the Easter holiday celebrations. The announcement was made in a press statement from the Ministry of Homeland Security, signed by Principal Secretary Dr. Steven Kayuni.

The pardons were granted under the authority of Section 89(2) of the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi, Section 111 of the Prisons Act, and the Guidelines for the Granting of Pardon to Convicted Persons. 

Among those receiving clemency are individuals who have served half of their sentences, the chronically ill, the elderly, and female convicts accompanied by their children in prison.

President Chakwera also demonstrated his commitment to addressing prison overcrowding by reducing the sentences of all other inmates by six months. This move aims to alleviate the strain on Malawi’s prison facilities, which have been grappling with overpopulation.

Speaking on behalf of the government, Minister Kenneth Zikhale Ng’oma emphasized the significance of extending mercy during the Easter season, a time when Christians worldwide commemorate the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

He underscored the importance of national reflection and reconciliation, stating, “It has pleased the state president Dr. Lazarus McCarthy Chakwera to pardon a total of 49 prisoners as part of Easter celebrations. The Constitution gives the mandate to the state president to pardon prisoners who have behaved well during the time of their stay in prison. This is the time when we reconcile as a country.”

This act of clemency follows a similar initiative last year, during which President Chakwera pardoned Uladi Mussa, a former Minister of Homeland Security who had been convicted in 2020. 

Mussa was among 200 prisoners released as an act of mercy. His release drew attention as he had previously been placed on a U.S. travel ban.

The president’s decision to grant clemency reflects Malawi’s commitment to justice, compassion, and reconciliation, particularly during significant religious observances such as Easter.

Source: Malawi24

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