By Simbarashe Mlambo
Following President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s Presidential Clemency Order, which aimed to alleviate prison overcrowding and improve living conditions by reducing the sentences of 4,270 prisoners nationwide, at least 15 released convicts have been rearrested for a range of offenses, including murder and armed robbery.
Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, the national police spokesperson, confirmed that individuals had been rearrested across the country on charges varying from theft, unlawful entry, and stock theft to armed robbery and murder.
Some of these individuals had pending court cases, while others had already been convicted.
One such 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.
Initially, Harare magistrate Mrs Ethel Rutendo Chichera had sentenced James to 15 months in jail but suspended three months on the condition of good behavior.
The Presidential amnesty generated public outcry as members of the public protested the release of convicted rapists who had served only a portion of their sentences.
Concerns have been raised about the safety of communities due to the early release of these individuals.
Additionally, the Hwange Colliery Company Limited (HCCL) expressed concerns about an increase in crime in the mining town since the release of over 4,000 criminals, including rapists, through the Presidential Clemency Order.
In a memo released by the HCCL Acting Loss and Control Manager, James Phiri, employees were urged to be vigilant and take necessary precautions, such as locking doors and avoiding leaving valuables outside their houses.