Crime and CourtsLatest

87% prisoners await sentencing


HARARE-Nearly 11 000 inmates admitted in Zimbabwe’s prisons during the first quarter of 2023 had not been sentenced, Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (ZimStat) report says.

The figure translates to 87.1 % of prisoners either awaiting trial or sentencing.

The report further shows a total of 12 558 new prisoners were admitted to jails during the same period and of these, 93.2% were males with 6.8% being females.

From a total of 23 982 prisoners population throughout the country, 169 or 1.4% of the prisoners were non-Zimbabweans.

According to the latest report 58.7 % of new prisoners were married, while 34.7% were not married.

Whereas 59.9% and 4.9% of male prisoners were married and never married respectively, while among female prisoners 45.8% were married and 33.7% were never married.

“Among all prisoners, 69.2% had attained lower secondary education and 2.6% had tertiary education while 59.6% were unemployed and 40.4 were employed,” reads the report.

Zimstat Director General, Taguma Mahonde said 35.5% of prisoners had elementary occupation and those employed as plant, machinery operators and assemblers stand at 23.4% whilst 17.9% had craft and related occupations.

He said during the period under review, the highest proportion of both new male and female prisoners were aged between 20 and 24 years.

The statistics agency director added that 11 300 prisoners were discharged from prison this year.

“A total of 11 335 prisoners were discharged from prison during the 1st quarter of 2023. Of these, 6.067 (53.5 percent) were serving a sentence and 5.268 (46.5 percent) were unsentenced,” said Mahonde.

He said 38.4 % of the sentenced prisoners were discharged on expiry of their sentences, whilst close to 36% in the same category were discharged after getting community service sentences.

Mahonde added that “most of the new male prisoners were admitted into prison for committing theft, assaults, burglary, robbery, and domestic violence,” whereas “crimes mostly committed by new female prisoners were theft, assault, unlawful acts involving controlled drugs or precursors and burglary”.

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