18 January 2013

Tanzania: Kagera Prisoners Bring in 425m/-

Bukoba — A TOTAL of 424.7m/- was realized from services rendered by 163 prisoners on parole in Kagera Region between 2010 and last year. Regional Social Community Development Officer, Mr Octavian Rwazo, said 380 prisoners were screened out of who 163 were released on parole.

He said the revenue was realized from various social activities including environmental conservation whereby 16,000 tree seedlings were distributed to all seven districts of Bukoba, Muleba, Biharamulo, Karagwe, Misenyi, Kyerwa and Ngara.

Meanwhile, Regional Parole Board Secretary, Mr Yusuf Kimanji, who is also the Regional Prisons Officer (RPO), disclosed that between 2003 to last year, a total of 317 prisoners' applications were discussed by the parole board.

Out of the applications, 191 prisoners benefited by being released from prison, while 114 others had their applications rejected. He said 12 prisoners were still waiting for the outcome of their applications, while 22 others were serving their sentences on parole.

He noted that the parole system had shown positive results by reforming some prisoners. He also said that through parole, congestion of inmates has been checked and the budget of maintaining prisoners had been reduced.

According to RPO Kimanji, prisoners not covered by parole include those on death row, those convicted of armed robbery, rape and those serving life sentences. Principal Judge Fakih Jundu, recently challenged magistrates to opt for alternative sentences in favour of prison sentences.

He made the appeal while opening a training workshop for Dar es Salaam based magistrates. He noted that for quite some time, most magistrates have been delivering sentences even for offences punishable by parole. Judge Jundu elaborated that while in neighbouring Kenya over 50,000 prisoners were on parole, the story was quite different in Tanzania where the number of prisoners on parole does not exceed 1,000.

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