Home » Governance » Even Legislators Can’t Afford Meat, Says Mnangagwa

ACTING President Emmerson Mnangagwa has insisted that the country’s prisons are not luxury hotels as he ruled out calls to introduce a consistent diet of meat and green vegetables in the incarceration centres.

At least five inmates were killed as 900 inmates rioted over poor food at Chikurubi Maximum Prison in Harare last Friday with the problem said to affect all of the country’s 46 correctional facilities.

Addressing legislators Wednesday, Acting President Emmerson Mnangagwa said government has moved to commandeer cartons of cooking oil confiscated from smugglers by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority to feed the 18,000 starving inmates in the country’s jails.

He however, said there were no immediate plans to introduce a consistent diet of meat and green vegetables among prisoners, insisting the routine combination of sadza and beans was appropriate for convicts.

“In fact as a matter of fact, the prescribed diet does not prescribe meat every day there are days for meat, there are days for beans, there are days for vegetables,” he said.

Mnangagwa, once a death row convict during the colonial era, was quick to say prisoners will not be pampered with nutritional privileges as if they were booked in hotels.

He continued: “So that is what we follow, rather than the pleasure of having meat which some honourable members here have not had.

“Remembering that inmates are there not to be entertained in a hotel, we make sure that they realise they are in prison by providing them with food in terms of the regulated amounts of food by our laws relating to food nutrition to each individual.”

Mnangagwa was responding to a question by Mutare Central MP Innocent Gonese who asked if government had plans to increase the production of beef and green vegetables in prison owned farms so as to lessen the burden on the fiscus on providing meals for inmates.

Source : New Zimbabwe