President Magufuli orders prisons to reduce overcrowding

Thursday July 18 2019

President John Magufuli

President John Magufuli 

Dodoma. Tanzania’s President John Magufuli has ordered prison authorities Thursday to reduce crowding in the country's jails, saying there were too many people awaiting trial indefinitely who should not be incarcerated.

The experience at Butimba jail in Mwanza region left the President “saddened" and demanding answers, he told a rally in Kongwa, Dodoma.

"This prison, which has a capacity of 900 people, houses 1,000 convicts, and 925 awaiting trial," he said, adding many had been languishing there for eight years, their investigations going nowhere.

"I have ordered the Ministry of Justice and other relevant bodies to visit all prisons, to listen to the complaints of prisoners and release those who are being held illegally.

"You elected me to serve everyone. I cannot lead a country in tears."

After his visit to Butimba Prison where inmates narrated their ordeals that left him stunned, some 300 prisoners were released from the Lake Zone today Thursday.