Rapist wrongly granted amnesty


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Justice Minister Emmerson Mnangagwa said a rapist who was released when the government granted amnesty to 3 000 prisoners recently should not have been set free because the amnesty did not cover rapists, murders and robbers.

Mnangagwa was responding to a question from Senator Watchy Sibanda who had asked whether his ministry was involved in the granting of amnesty to prisoners because a man who had raped his 12-year-old niece had been released.

Mnangagwa said ministry was involved but it was only the President who granted the amnesty because the powers were vested in him.

“The amnesty which we granted resulted in over 3 000 prisoners being released but we exempted two categories. One was those who committed rape, were exempted from benefitting from the amnesty and those who committed aggravated murder and robbery were not included in the 3000 persons who benefited from the amnesty.

“Your particular individual, if it is true that he is out as a result of the recent amnesty, I would wish to get the details because even if you look at the Gazette, the Gazette specifically and clearly states that those who committed rape are exempted from benefiting from the amnesty,” Mnangagwa said.

 

Q &A

 

SENATOR W. SIBANDA: My question is directed to the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs. My question is, was your ministry involved when the President gave amnesty to the prisoners? I am asking this question because, in my constituency, there was a man who raped his 12 year old niece and now he is out in the communal lands there. This is the reason why I am asking whether your ministry was involved. I am saddened because that is a girl child and this person is supposed to be incarcerated.

THE MINISTER OF JUSTICE, LEGAL AND PARLIAMENTARY AFFAIRS (MR. MNANGAGWA): Thank you Mr. President of the Senate, thank you for the question that you have asked hon. senator. It is the other way round, it is not the President who initiates the release of prisoners or granting amnesty but where we need amnesty, that power is vested in the President in our Constitution. So, when we consider the necessity of granting amnesty to prisoners, we do so by application to His Excellency to exercise that constitutional power to grant amnesty.

The amnesty which we granted resulted in over 3 000 prisoners being released but we exempted two categories. One was those who committed rape, were exempted from benefitting from the amnesty and those who committed aggravated murder and robbery were not included in the 3000 persons who benefited from the amnesty.

Your particular individual, if it is true that he is out as a result of the recent amnesty. I would wish to get the details because even if you look at the Gazette, the Gazette specifically and clearly states that those who committed rape are exempted from benefiting from the amnesty. I thank you.

(17 VIEWS)

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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