Home » Governance » Govt Releases U.S $250k for Chikurubi Repairs

Government has released $250 000 to Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison for repairs to property damaged by inmates during a foiled jail break in March.

This emerged during a tour of Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, Chikurubi Female Prison and Harare Central Prison by the Parliamentary committee on Peace and Security yesterday.

Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Officer-in-Charge, Assistant Commissioner Ernest Panganayi, said in an interview that an assessment was carried out after the violent protests, which revealed that $500 000 was required for repairs.

“Some of the material that will be used has been acquired and roof repairs have been carried out.

We are now waiting for the rest of the material to be delivered,” said Asst Comm Panganayi.

“Asbestos sheets have been acquired and roof repairs have been carried out, ceilings still need to be installed, among other repairs.”

The inmates said they were protesting against a poor diet.

Asst Comm Panganayi told the parliamentarians that foodstuffs now available for inmates at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison included sadza, beans, ground-nuts and vegetables, while cooking oil was donated by Zimra.

At Chikurubi, the parliamentary committee toured prison cells, the prison library for inmates, its hospital and kitchen.

Asst Comm Panganayi said Chikurubi Prison Farm was overcrowded as it had more than 2 302 inmates against a holding capacity of 1 364, while the female prison has 163 inmates against a holding capacity of 300 prisoners.

Challenges faced at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison and the female prison include inadequate blankets, lack of shoes, clothing and stationery for inmates and kitchen utensils which result in prisoners taking turns to eat.

At the prison hospital, there are inadequate drugs and anaesthesia, broken down equipment and the staff is overwhelmed by patients being referred to the institution from other prisons in the country.

Harare Central Prison’s Deputy Officer-in-Charge, Superintendent Stanford Chingozho, said the correctional institution was also overcrowded as it had 1 990 prisoners against a holding capacity of 1 470.

He said clothing for inmates was available and the food situation had improved as prisoners now had three meals daily.

Challenges faced at Harare Central Prisons Hospital include inadequate drugs and blankets.

Diseases mostly affecting inmates include tuberculosis, common colds and acute respiratory infections.

The parliamentary committee’s chairperson, Retired Lieutenant-General Mike Nyambuya, said the situation at prisons needed to be addressed and that the committee would forward its findings to relevant authorities.

Source : The Herald