LUSAKA, May 24 (Xinhua) -- Zambian President Hakainde Hichilema has pardoned 2,045 inmates to mark this year's Africa Freedom Day which falls on May 25, a senior government official said on Tuesday.
Ambrose Lifuna, the acting Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, said the inmates include 2,012 ordinary inmates and 33 elderly inmates.
He told journalists during a press briefing that the Zambian president has also commuted sentences for 607 inmates.
The minister said the move was in line with constitutional powers vested in the president meant to decongest correctional facilities.
According to him, the government has started addressing the problem of congestion in correctional facilities using various means which also includes advocating for community sentencing for minor offenses.
The government, he said, plans to construct and expand more correctional facilities which also include procurement of mattresses and bunker beds to improve conditions.
Zambia's current inmate population stands at 25,242, he added.