Frank Baine, spokesperson of the Uganda Prisons Service, told Xinhua by telephone on Tuesday that those pardoned were all Ugandans.
He also said this was not the first time the president was pardoning prisoners. "In 2021, the president pardoned 800 prisoners," Baine added.
A statement from the prisons authorities on Monday said the presidential pardon is enshrined in the country’s laws, "under Article 121 (1) (a) of the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda, 1995 as amended and on advice of the Advisory Committee on the Prerogative of Mercy."
Baine told local media, the advisory committee reviewed a list of 1,800 names submitted for consideration before coming up with the 200.
Baine said the pardon was a gesture of compassion and an opportunity for convicts to reform.
The country’s prisons have at least 72,620 inmates, a number more than triple the capacity of all prisons, according to prison authorities.