By Auxilia Katongomara
There was jubilation at Mlondolozi Mental and Female Prison housed at Khami Complex as 40 female inmates who benefited from the Presidential Amnesty were released to go home yesterday.
The inmates were freed on a clemency order issued by President Emmerson Mnangagwa last Wednesday.The women, whose ages ranged from 17 to 55 years, danced and thanked President Mnangagwa for pardoning them so that they could taste freedom.
There were moments of emotional goodbyes as the inmates bade each other farewell before they boarded kombis heading for their homes.
The women left carrying bags of clothing that well- wishers donated while they were in prison.
Phephelaphi Gumbo, who was serving a 20-year jail sentence for aggravated indecent assault, could not hide her joy and appreciation for the gesture by President Mnangagwa.
“I was sentenced to 20 years for aggravated indecent assault last year. I came here in August and had completed six months of my sentence.
“I was sentenced for a crime I did not commit but I would like to thank President Mnangagwa for the kind gesture. I would have rotted in prison if it were not for him, I wish the Lord to add more years to his life, he is very kind and as I go out, I will definitely vote for him,” said Ms Gumbo.A former inmate smiles on re-uniting with her family
She was accused of sexually abusing her two juvenile nephews and infecting one with an STI.
It’s alleged that she “raped” the two minors aged 7 and 13 between July and August this year.
Ms Ethel Ncube, who was serving a nine year sentence for stock theft, was jailed while heavily pregnant and gave birth to her in daughter in prison.
“Ngabotshiswa ngubaba wami kodwa kazange angizwele (My father got me arrested when I was heavily pregnant), I hoped he would he pardon me but now the President has pardoned me. He is not my father but he has pardoned me. I left my children and I was heavily pregnant, now my daughter is one year and one month old,” said Ms Ncube.
She said she sold the family’s 20 cattle.
“I tried to beg for forgiveness but my father would have none of it, I was subsequently jailed and sentenced to nine years in prison.>“I had served one year four months, I came here in November 2016 and gave birth in prison,” said Ms Ncube.
One of the happiest women who sang and danced upon her release was Charmaine Ngwenya (35) who was serving a 30 month sentence for assault.
She said she was grateful and was definitely going to register to vote for President Mnangagwa.
“I came here for assault, I came here in December, but into eyenziwe ngu President wethu yiyo engithabisayo (What our President has done makes me happy). I was not expecting to be out this time of the year.
“I am so happy; I don’t know how I will thank President Mnangagwa. Today I will sleep at home,” she said.Ms Ngwenya thanked the prison officials for taking care of them while imparting life skills and counseling.
“I have reformed; even if I meet the person who I fought, I won’t fight them again. I was counselled. Prison mustn’t be too easy because if it’s as easy as home then we would definitely come back, but I have learnt a lot. I am happy to be going home,” she said. The Chronicle