Security risk at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison

Security risk at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison
Published: 23 July 2015 (680 Views)

Security concerns have been raised at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison amid revelations that the facility has 2 290 prisoners against a carrying capacity of 1 360 inmates.

In March, prisoners held at Chikurubi ran riot over poor food and living conditions.

To quell the riots, the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) had to call for reinforcements from the army after they failed to contain the prisoners due to inadequate human resources.

According to the Financial Gazette,  ZPCS spokesperson, Elizabeth Karinda-Banda, said the recruitment of more prison wardens had been suspended two months ago because of budgetary constraints.

They had intended to recruit 12 671 prison wardens for the country's 46 prisons.

"There is no recruitment this year. We have not received any budget allocations for the recruitment and all that we are getting from Treasury is for the basic needs to run prisons and nothing else," she said.

 "If you look at more than 2 000 inmates at the Chikurubi Maximum Prison who are being kept under guard by at least 400 prison officers, you would see that the staff to inmate ratio is not safe," she said.

Overcrowding exposes them to health hazards, a situation which is being compounded by ZPCS' inability to acquire adequate drugs.

The director of the Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation, Edson Chihota, believes that the situation in prisons "is an issue which is not particular to the prisons only but a Zimbabwean scenario where the economy has melted down and cannot make them perform some of their duties".

- Financial Gazette

Tags: Chikurubi,
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