Mugabe urged to pardon three remaining women prisoners

AN organisation that deals with the rehabilitation of women ex-prisoners has appealed to President Robert Mugabe to extend clemency to the three women prisoners who are on either death row or life imprisonment.

By Ropafadzo Mapimhidze/Veneranda Langa

Female Prisoner Support Trust (FEMPRIST) director Rita Nyamupinga said although she was aware that the new Constitution cannot cover these cases in retrospect, these women were caught up in criminal activities out of ignorance.

Mugabe last week issued an amnesty order which led to the release of nearly 2 000 prisoners, of which 503 were women.

Nyamupinga cited one case involving a 70-year-old woman whose gun was used by her nephews to commit various crimes around Zimbabwe.

“The loot was found at her house and because the gun they used, which she inherited from her father when he died, was not registered, she was cited as an accomplice,” Nyamupinga said.

Nyamupinga said while the ex-prisoners heaved a sigh of relief upon their release, they were oblivious of the cruel reality that awaited them outside the prison walls.

“Some will get home to find another woman in their place. While the male ex-prisoners get a hero’s welcome and celebrated, women in the same situation may find no home to go to.

“Their spouses would have moved on and living happily with their newfound lovers and children too may be displaced at various children’s homes or perhaps destitute. And faced with such a situation, some of these women are driven into committing more crime and land back in prison,” Nyamupinga said
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She said most of the women had never been visited by their spouses during the period of incarceration, and when they return to their marital homes, they were likely to experience various forms of violence and denial of conjugal rights.

“Work for me has just started. There is need for reintegration, rehabilitation, reunification of families with ex-female prisoners because without this process, there will be a backlash which may result in these women going back to prison,” Nyamupinga said.

She appealed to society to embrace the ex-convicts unconditionally.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Human Rights Manicaland Senator Michael Nyambuya said the release of the 2 000 prisoners would ease pressure on the country’s jails.

Chairman of the Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Peace and Security Damian Mumvuri said the move was good for the country’s human rights record.

“We only hope that the released prisoners will be repentant and change their ways, as well as that they will not recommit crimes and go back to prison. We hope there will be programmes to give them another chance in life.”

6 Comments

  1. There is now enough room in our prisons to accommodate the corrupt from our rank and file lets see the arrests, trials and convictions.

  2. This saga has proven that women are a weaker sex! When in the dock they plead, ‘I am a woman your worship!’- for the court to be lenient. When incarcerated, they again plead, ‘I am a woman my Lord!’ – for them to get an amnesty. More clemency to our women! They are a weaker sex! Shame!Shame!Shame!

  3. nyamupinga must know that not only men move on when their wives are jailed. vakadzi warikutizawo dzimba once their husbands have been jailed. the same problems u said women will face after release will also be faced by men coz vanosvikawo vakadzi vane vamwe varume

    1. Thank you Mrs Nyamupinga for highlighting the need for three of the remaining females to be released as well.True ,work has just begun for us organisations which work with inmates.Follow up is needed as some of them will be vulnerable in the communitte.they also need to be equipped with life skills so that they can be able to sustain themselves.Counselling is also needed to some.At the moment there is a case of a woman who just came back from prison and have since locked herself in side her house and don’t want to meet with family and friends.With our collective help we can help them get back that confidence which they use to have before they where incarserated

  4. Nyamupinga,Winnie was out of prison,Mandela was in,what happed if you remmember ? ndiudze izvozvi.

  5. Nyamupinga urimunhu asina chiremera nekukosha kwemhuri, sei uchingoona kuipa kwevarume pese pese. Unonyadzisa, tswaga murume unyarare

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