15 Released Convicts, Rearrested After Committing More Offences
At least 15 convicts who were released last month under the Presidential Clemency Order issued by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last month have been rearrested for various offences, including murder and armed robbery.
The Presidential Clemency Order was aimed at de-congesting national prisons and improving living conditions by reducing the sentences of 4,270 prisoners nationwide.
The national police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, confirmed that 15 people had been rearrested countrywide, with charges varying from theft, unlawful entry, and stock theft to armed robbery and murder. Some of the individuals had pending court cases, while others had already been convicted. Nyathi said:
They were arrested for offences such as theft, unlawful entry and theft, stock theft, armed robbery and murder.
A recent case involved Brian James, a Harare man who was rearrested and sentenced to one year in jail for stealing blankets, phones, and an inverter from a house in Borrowdale. Harare magistrate Mrs Ethel Rutendo Chichera initially sentenced James to 15 months in jail but suspended three months on the condition of good behaviour.
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The Presidential amnesty caused a stir with members of the public protesting the release of convicted rapists who had served only a portion of their sentences. The early release of such individuals has led to public outcry and raised concerns about the safety of communities.
The Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) has also raised concerns about an increase in crime in the mining town since the release of over 4,000 criminals, including rapists, through the Presidential Amnesty Order. The HCCL Acting Loss and Control Manager, James Phiri, released a memo urging employees to be vigilant and take necessary precautions, such as locking doors and not leaving valuables outside the house.