The ministry for Home Affairs told the National Assembly that it has been a culture for the president to grant amnesty to inmates during the commemoration of union between Tanganyika and Zanzibar.
The ministry was responding to a question posed by Nungwi legislator, Yussuf Haji Khamis (CUF) who sought to know the number of people serving prison sentences who have so far been pardoned since the Fifth Phase Government under Dr Magufuli assumed office in November 2015.
In a written response, the Home Affairs Ministry said that about 17,227 inmates have so far been pardoned during union celebrations.
According to the ministry, on April 26, 2016, there were 2887 who met the requisite qualifications for the amnesty out of which 557 were pardoned and that during the corresponding period in 2017, there were 2,219 inmates and all of them received the presidential amnesty.
On April 26, 2018, the ministry stated, there were 3,894 inmates on the list, out of which 3,319 prisoners were given alternative sentence by the Head of State while 585 were pardoned. And, during the corresponding period in 2019 those who qualified for the amnesty were 4,252 out of which 3,530 were given alternative sentence and 722 were pardoned.
This year according to the ministry, the president pardoned about 933 prisoners, 2,786 were given an alternative sentences while 256 others had their death sentences commuted.