Blantyre – Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Wednesday pardoned 197 prisoners from the country’s overcrowded jails under an amnesty to mark Christmas, the home affairs ministry said.
“The pardon of the 197 prisoners is a symbol of forgiveness as the country commemorates its Christmas and New Year celebrations,” it said in a statement.
The pardoned prisoners had served at least half of their sentences and had behaved well during their incarceration, or had not convicted of serious offences.
It is the second time that Mutharika has granted clemency to prisoners since being elected in May.
Malawi’s 34 prisons, home to about 12 000 inmates, are battling severe overcrowding, which many blame on courts ordering jail sentences for minor offences.