Lynn Munjanja Herald Reporter
Government is modernising the prison system to cater for the rights of inmates and will soon establish open prisons for women in Marondera and Mutare.
This came out at the Harare Metropolitan Province Prisons and Correctional Services Day commemorations held at Gwanzura Stadium in Harare on Saturday.
This year’s commemorations marked the 11th anniversary of modern prisons and correctional management systems done cognisant of the African Correctional Service Association(ACSA)’s theme, “Deepening reforms in the African prisons”.
Speaking at the event, Minister of State for Harare Provincial Affairs Oliver Chidawu said plans were ongoing to establish open prison facilities.
“In our efforts in modernising our approach in correctional management systems, this saw us, soon after the country’s independence, establishing a more human correctional centre, that is Connemara Open Prison, which houses male inmates, but we have not stopped as plans are also ongoing to establish other open prison facilities for females across the provinces,” said Minister Chidawu. “Government has already approved sites in Marondera and Mutare, but progress is being delayed by inadequacies in resource base. However, as soon as resources permit, execution of the projects would commence in earnest.
“Females are a very important and sensitive constituency within our communities, whose roles favour that they are in constant touch with the family and community as opposed to outright incarceration. The open prison system is more conducive for facilitating inmates’ rehabilitation and successful re-integration given that it is at most serving as a hallway home.”
Minister Chidawu said programmes were being carried out in line with the reformed United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.
This year’s commemorations came six years after the transformation of the Zimbabwe Prison Service (ZPS) to the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS), a shift from a punitive and retributive approach to a more corrective and restorative institution.
ZANU PF INFORMATION DEPARTMENT NEWS