Botswana’s President Mokgweetsi Masisi has pardoned 149 prisoners to help decongest prisons and prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Those pardoned will be tested for the virus before being released back to their families.
Among those pardoned are 20 foreigners. The immigration department will process their documentation to allow them to return to their countries.
Botswana Prison Service Assistant Commissioner Wamorena Ramolefhe said 96 of those released were serving prison sentences while 53 were on extra mural labour.
The country is on a 28-day lockdown and the members of parliament had been debating an extension before they were all placed on quarantine.
The MPs were exposed after a nurse who was on duty in parliament tested positive for coronavirus.