APM pardons 184 prisoners as part of Christmas celebrations

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President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has pardoned 184 prisoners as part of Christmas celebration, acting Secretary of Homeland Security Hudson Mankhwala said in a statement on Thursday.

President Mutharika: Pardons prisoners President Mutharika: Pardons prisoners

Mankhwala said the prisoners that have earned the presidential pardon are those that were charged with minor offences and have demonstrated good behavioral reform.

“The pardon of the 184 prisoners by His Excellency the State President is an act of mercy during this festive season,” said Mankhwala.

Section 89 (2) (a) of the Republic of Malawi Constitution empowers sitting presidents to pardon prisoners.


A total of 568 prisoners were pardoned in a combined Independence, Easter and Christmas celebrations of 2019.

Malawi presidents also pardon prisoners during some Islamic celebrations such as Eid Al-fitr and Eid Mubarak.


Malawi's 23 district prisons are at 260 percent of its official capacity, with 14,778 prisoners occupying spaces built for only 5,680 persons.


The presidential pardon originated in England in 1382. It was based on the royal prerogative of English kings, which gave the king the ability to overturn any sentence.


Originally, the king's prerogative existed without any limitations attached to it. But during the reign of King Charles II (1660-85), the English Parliament managed to institute the single rule that impeachment was excluded from the pardon power. This rule lives on today.



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