LUSAKA, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Edgar Lungu has pardoned 579 inmates as part of commemoration to mark this year's Africa Freedom Day, a senior government official said on Monday.
Masiye Banda, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Home Affairs, said the action was in accordance with the country's constitution which provides for presidential pardon and substitution of severe punishment imposed on convicted people.
He said during a press briefing that among those pardoned included 548 males and 31 females, adding that the pardoning of the inmates will go a long way in helping to decongest the correctional facilities.
The move, he said, was also a true reflection of the government's aspirations in the observance of human rights, treatment and rehabilitation of offenders.
Currently, Zambia has 22,520 inmates in its correctional facilities out of which 21,924 are males and 596 are females.
Zambia will on May 25 join other African countries in commemorating Africa Freedom Day, the annual commemoration of Africa's liberalization from colonial masters.