Tanzanian President John Magufuli on Friday pardoned 3,540 prisoners as the east African nation marked its 55th anniversary of the Union with the Zanzibar archipelago.
Zanzibar merged with Tanganyika on April 26, 1964 to form the United Republic of Tanzania, a deal which was witnessed by Zanzibar’s founding President Abeid Karume and Tanzania’s founding President Julius Nyerere.
This was contained in a statement issued by Jacob Kingu, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs in the commercial capital Dar es Salaam.
“It is the government’s expectations that the pardoned prisoners will rejoin and cooperate with members of the society in nation building.”
“We also expect them to avoid committing offences that will take them back to prison,” added Mr Kingu.
Mr Magufuli issued the pardon to prisoners in accordance with authorities conferred to him under Article 45 (1) (d) of the Constitution of the United Republic of Tanzania.
The statement said beneficiaries of pardon included people convicted before March 15, 2019, those suffering from chronic diseases including HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis and cancer and have been medically diagnosed.
Other beneficiaries of the pardon were prisoners above 70 years old, those with physical and mental disabilities, female prisoners convicted with pregnancy and those bearing young babies, said the statement.
The statement said people convicted for murder, suicide and infanticide, those sentenced for life imprisonment and later changed to normal sentences and convicts of drug trafficking and abuse were not recipients of the pardon.
The statement added that people convicted for indecent assault, rape, defilement and violence against children, convicts of car, motorcycle theft, destruction of infrastructure and those serving jail terms under parole will also not benefit from the pardon.
Convicts of office abuse, money laundering and economic sabotage, previous beneficiaries of presidential pardons and those convicted for preventing their children from accessing education will also not be beneficiaries of the pardon, it added.