Prison amnesty: Mnangagwa frees cop killer; Gumbura fails to make the cut

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PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa released Wednesday a female prisoner jailed 20 years for killing a police inspector as part of a general amnesty which will benefit some 3,000 inmates.

Yvonne Musarurwa, an MDC-T activist convicted along with two men for killing Inspector Peter Mutedza as political temperatures boiled over ahead of the 2013 elections, will benefit from a presidential amnesty.

Last Maengahama and Tungamirai Madzokere were the other two activists sent to prison for the murder after a marathon trial that involved over 30 other opposition officials. Madzokere and Maengahama will remain in prison.

Similarly missing out on the amnesty was disgraced clergyman Martin Gumbura who is serving a 40-year jail-term for rape.

Another high-profile jailbird, Munyaradzi Kereke, a former Zanu PF MP and Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe top official might still sneak out, but the criterion is as murky on his fate.

Kereke was initially jailed 11 years for raping a minor but four years were set aside. He was to serve an effective seven years.

Last month the former legislator was moved from Chikurubi Maximum Prison to the Open Prison system because of good behaviour.

While his crime is categorised as a classified offence, Kereke could still benefit because all those in the Open Prison system received unqualified remission of sentence.

Kereke has also served a third of his seven-year jail term.

However, if he is to be released Mnangagwa is likely to face brickbats from women activists and could be accused of political favouritism or having engineered the former lawmaker’s “escape” from jail.