Marijuana convicts pardon worries PRISCCA


By Nation Reporter

WE cannot support lawlessness simply because we are advocating for the decongestion of prisons and human rights in the country, says Prisons Care and Counselling Association (PRISCCA) executive director Godfrey Malembeka.

In an interview yesterday, Dr Malembeka said he had been observing politicians make various campaign messages on the welfare of inmates with keen interest.

Dr Malembeka was commenting on Green Party president Peter Sinkamba who plans to free, on Presidential pardon, all the marijuana related convicts serving sentences if elected into office in the August 11 general elections.

But Dr Malembeke said to make such decisions, authorities needed to conduct wide consultations.

He said as much as PRISCCA was advocating the release of prisoners with the aim of decongesting prison facilities and promoting human rights, it would not support any form of lawlessness.

He said the Green Party would need countrywide consultations and review the Penal Code and other sections of the law as well as other subsidiary laws on the Drug Act, stating that if the laws remained the same, then there was no need to promote such actions.

“As much as we support initiatives that will ensure that prisons are decongested and a robust judicial system, the tenets of the law have to be adhered to. The Green Party will need countrywide consultations and review the Penal Code and other subsidiary laws such as the Drugs Act,” Dr Malembeka.

He said the prerogative of mercy and other initiatives needed to benefit other persons and not only those with marijuana related cases so that prisons were decongested and justice was expeditiously dispensed.

Dr Malembeka commended the Patriotic Front government for having performed well through the construction of more prison facilities and expressed hope that the party that would form Government on August 11 needed not only to continue but do more.

And Dr Malembeka urged the youths not to be used as tools of political violence, stating that they would languish alone in prisons once arrested and convicted.

“I would like to urge the youths not to be used by politicians as tools of violence because the people sending them will not bring them food or visit them in prison,’’ he said

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