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First report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on the state
of prisons and prisoners
Parliament of Zimbabwe
July 20, 2011
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visited Harare Central, Chikurubi, Mutare, Mutimurefu and WhaWha
Prisons at a time when living conditions of prisoners was worsening
due to budgetary constraints. The Committee noted that there was
an acute shortage of basic requirements needed by prisoners. Lack
of toiletries, ablution facilities and the unavailability of water
for a long time at some prisons were disturbing. Prisoners' diet
needed to be improved so that the food is more palatable.
Service faced challenges in servicing the courts throughout the
country because of lack of inadequate transport and fuel. The Committee
noted that most of the vehicles used were aging and unreliable.
Some of the stations had no vehicles at all.
all prisons visited were wearing tattered uniforms and this was
attributed to lack of adequate funding.
ZPS was also
unable to acquire the necessary drugs that were required for sick
prisoners due to inadequate funding.
noted with the concern that funds were made available too late to
enable ZPS to buy farming inputs. Otherwise, ZPS would be self sufficient
in terms of production of maize to feed prisoners.
1.1 As part
of its oversight role, the Thematic Committee on Human Rights resolved
to conduct a fact finding visit to prisons with a view to assess
the condition of prisons and prisoners in order to determine whether
they are in keeping with the human rights standards.
The Committee invited the Commissioner of Prisons for oral evidence
on the state of prisons and prisoners but his Deputy came in his
place. The Committee also invited Zimbabwe
Association of Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation (ZACRO) to
brief the Committee on how the organization works with prisons.
Visits to Harare Central, Chikurubi Maximum, Mutare, Mutimurefu
and WhaWha prisons were conducted, where meetings were held with
prisons officials and prisoners.
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