A statement from the Director of Presidential Communications Gerson Msigwa said of the inmates, 1,176 will be released on Independence Day.
Inmates covered by the decree include those over 70 years of age and sick prisoners, women prisoners who were expectant or had children at the time they started serving jail sentences, and prisoners with mental or body disabilities.
President Magufuli has also decided to reduce by a quarter the sentence on prisoners who have already served a quarter of their sentences, thus many would benefit even if not being released on the same day.
The statement cited an affirmation by the president that the pardon does not include those with a death sentence, life sentence, conviction for drug abuse and human trafficking, prisoners jailed for possession of firearms, those found with human body parts, convicted of sodomy, rape or impregnating schoolgirls.
Others not on the list include those jailed for economic sabotage, corruption, poaching and those who those who started serving their jail terms after December 1, this year.
The president said despite attainment of the country’s independence, economic freedom was more important and difficult to attain.
“The independence day we attained on December 9 was just the beginning of another fight of economic freedom,” the State House statement intoned.
It said despite progress since independence, the country still has a long way to go to reach aspirations of building a stronger Tanzania.
“We need to build a country which is independent and has economic prosperity,” the president underlined, noting this means a country whose social services are easily accessed, having educated people and earning good incomes.
The president said he was happy to see that for the past three years, his government has been pursuing that dream by ensuring that economic growth was being realized.
“Our country is now ranked among five countries in Africa with fast economic growth while at the same time managing to attract investment totaling Sh30 trillion, among other achievements,” the statement declared.
The president also asked the public to mark Independence Day in the privacy of their homes, directing that the Sh1bn allocated for Independence Day ceremonies be reallocated for the construction of Uhuru Hospital in Dodoma.