THE NGO NETWORK ALLIANCE PROJECT - an online community for Zimbabwean activists  
 View archive by sector


Back to Index

Zimbabwe prison death rate rises
Xinhua News Agency
December 02, 2013

The death rate in Zimbabwe's prisons has risen significantly in recent years as authorities battle to provide inmates with adequate food, parliament heard on Monday.

Zimbabwe Prison Service Deputy Commissioner Agrey Machingauta told a parliamentary committee that the prison deaths had doubled to 100 per year in recent years due to inadequate food and the HIV and AIDS pandemic.

"We are facing challenges in feeding our prisoners properly and instead of providing three meals a day, we are struggling to give them one meal a day due to inadequate funding," Machingauta said.

He said the poor meals were affecting the health of prisoners, some of whom are on antiretroviral medication which requires healthy and balanced diet.

He said since the beginning of the year, at least 100 inmates had died in the country's prisons.

"This is not a good figure to talk about. Our wish is for the death rate to be under control so that we stop sending away dead bodies than human beings," he said.

Zimbabwe currently has 18,460 inmates in its over 60 correctional facility across the country.

Machingauta said the lack of funding from treasury deterred the prisons from producing their own food. The prison service has 27 farms measuring 3,482 hectares of arable land.

If adequately funded, Machingauta said the prisons, which require 340 tonnes of maize per month, could be self-sufficient in terms of food.

Please credit if you make use of material from this website. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.