Tanzanian President frees hundreds of prisoners during the 53rd Anniversary of the Union between Tanganyika & Zanzibar
Tanzania President John Magufuli pardoned 2,219 prisoners on the 53rd Anniversary of the Union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar, reports the Daily News.
Tanganyika and Zanzibar, once sovereign nations, merged to form the United Republic of Tanzania on April 26, 1964, one year after Zanzibar gained her independence in 1963 and about four years since Tanganyika was declared independent in 1961.
“The government hopes that the freed prisoners will return to the community and work with other citizens to build the nation and that they will avoid committing crimes that will send them back to incarceration,” Permanent Secretary (PS) in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Maj. Genremarked in the statement.
The pardon will cover prisoners suffering for terminal diseases such as HIV/AIDs, tuberculosis and cancer which must be verified by a team of doctors. The medical team will also confirm elderly people over the age of 70 that eligible for release, as well as women who got imprisoned while pregnant, lactating or with toddlers. Prisoners that got a normal reduction of a third of their sentences provided under Section 49 (1) of the Prisons Act Chapter 58, & should have served at least a half of their remaining time, save for those mentioned in Article 2 (i-xxi) are also in the group.
President John Magufuli made his first address at the climax of 53 years of the Union celebrations, requesting his compatriots to maintain peace and unity to ensure a one strong, peaceful nation.
“The truth of the matter is, in order to strengthen and grow as one nation … we need peace and unity to reign,” the President and Commander-in-Chief, said when addressing the climax of the Union festivities, marked in Dodoma for the first time.
The country celebrated with parades and glowing speeches from principal Government officials in regional administrative metropolises countrywide including the de facto capital Dar es Salaam and the political capital, Dodoma.