Norton-based Jedidiahh Trust and their partner, philanthropist, and educationist Gertrude Mandizvidza, have welcomed the fact that President Emmerson Mnangagwa has pardoned all female convicts, juveniles under the age of 18 years, inmates sentenced to life in imprisonment and prisoners aged 70 years and above.
Jedidiah Trust, founded by Lovemore Chikwanda, focuses on providing education, psycho-social support, a start-up for those released from prison and lobbying and advocacy for better policies.
It works with various stakeholders who are willing to partner the trust to bring hope to the inmates whose hope would have been dashed through incarceration. In addition to this, the trust conscientises the society on remembering their own who would have been incarcerated and works to address massive stigma and discrimination against the incarcerated.
“The news of the Presidential Pardon was sweet music to our ears. During our visit to the Chikurubi Female Prison in January, there were many incarcerated women who were staying there with their children. These children were literally serving the prison terms with their mothers despite the fact that they are innocent.
“While in prison, these children missed out on good things that life offers. It means their rights were trampled upon. They were deprived of the rights to education, proper shelter, clothing, a balanced diet, the family set up love and food. From a sociological perspective, these children lacked socialisation with their peers. Our plea to policymakers and society at large is to look into the welfare of these children and craft policies for rehabilitating such children since their mothers have been pardoned by President Mnangagwa,” Mrs. Mandizvidza said.
Below is Virginia Mabiza’s reading out of the Presidential Pardon:
It is hereby notified that His Excellency the President has, in terms of section 112(1)(a) and (d) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, made the order set out in the Schedule: