Back to Index
Human rights abuses in Zimbabwe prisons exposed
in Zimbabwe Coalition
November 30, 2012
It was a heart
rendering night that left several reaching for their tissues as
three political prisoners shared their chilling experience at a
talk show convened by Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition at the Book Café
entitled "Memoirs of Political Prisoners: Victims or Victors"
on November 28, 2012
included President of the MDC-T Youth Assembly, Solomon Madzore,
Programme Manager, Cynthia Manjoro and ZINASU
President, Pride Mukono. The talk show was hosted by Chairperson
in Zimbabwe Coalition Regional Office Board Member, Mr Joy Mabenge.
and Cynthia Manjoro are part of the 29 Glenview residents who are
with the murder of Inspector Petros Mutedza whereas Pride Mukono
is a student activist who was incarcerated for demanding education
freedom. The three activists are out on bail and their cases are
currently before courts.
unveiled seemingly similar experiences as they expose gross human
rights abuses in Zimbabwe Prisons.
this will be a story which will stop others from experiencing what
went through. Prison was the most painful experience I have ever
gone through it was worse than death, for in death you fell nothing,
but in this case it is like continuos preparation for a death that
never comes . For 405 days I was reduced to nothing, being known
by just a number, "said Madzore.
months in 2011 I was known as 327/11 and in 2012 145/12.1 was put
in solitary confinement at Chikurubi maximum prison, it was the
most traumatising experience I have ever had. I withdrew from everything
me getting out of blankets only for food and visitors. I feared
for my 2 year old who I left at home . . will he be ok? Does anyone
know what to do if he gets sick?" added Manjoro.
The three narrated
the appalling state of prisons and conditions including absence
of good hygienic practices like proper toilets in some of the prison
rooms and the sanitizing of leg irons before use which put prisoners
at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. The President of Zinasu, Pride
Mkono, expressed the need to educate the prison guards and the prisoners
on their rights.
is need to sensitize prisoners on their rights as human beings so
as to avoid the abuse of their rights whilst in prison. There is
also need to educate prison offices on how to treat prisoners through
sensitizing them that prisons are correctional, rehabilitation centers
not centers for torturing and destroying human life" said
Mr Mukono described
how three of his fellow inmates at Hwahwa Prison died after eating
possibly poisonous frogs out of hunger. He added that the food offered
in prison regularly is poorly prepared spinach or cabbage and sadza.
He also pointed out how the three prisoners were pronounced dead
with no proper investigation to ascertain the cause of death.
how women's rights were violated at Chikurubi Maximum Prison where
some cells occupied by up to 10 inmates had no toilets and the inmates
where instead given cut 2l "Mazoe" plastic bottles each
to relieve themselves in.
case of one having diarrhea then a plastic bag was provided,"
Manjoro said. This system exposed other cell inmates to contaminable
diseases that can be prevented easily.
She also explained
how Chikurubi Maximum Prison Female Section had no service for those
who want to pursue their studies. She shared how on her spare time
she would teach other inmates who were doing their 'O'
levels and one who was as far behind as grade 7. She added that
there was little time for studies as most of the time was spent
working in the garden.
of the MDC-T Youth Assembly, Solomon Madzore reiterated the need
to sensitize the prison wards on human rights and Mr Mabenge concluded
the talk show by challenging political players, policy makers and
the Civil Society to fully acknowledge the need to address the abuse
of human rights by state institutions like prisons.
Visit the Crisis
in Zimbabwe fact
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.