Resident magistrate Stephen Ndlovu and court officials last week conducted an inspection of prison facilities and police holding cells.
A senior prosecutor at Binga courts, Thamsanqa Ndhlela, said the inspection was a routine exercise to ensure prison facilities were kept in good order so that they do not pose a health risk to prisoners and suspects.
“This is a routine exercise which we as the courts conduct to ensure that prisoners’ rights to proper health are not violated. The inspection started at the prisons and ended at the police station cells.
“We were checking the state of cells whether they are habitable or not,” said Ndhlela.
“He said criminals and suspects detained in prison and holding cells were entitled to their rights despite committing crimes.
“We do these routine inspections to ensure that prisoners’ rights are recognised and upheld,” Ndhela said.
“They have to live in a clean environment, like any other person would want to. These inspections are meant to encourage those in authority to always make sure that the cells are suitable for human habitation.”
Reports of scores of prisoners succumbing to death due to various diseases as a result of the unclean environment in most country’s prisons were rife.
Inmates recently told a ministerial delegation visiting Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison of unhealthy conditions they were subjected to and lack of basic requirements such as food, clothing, toiletries and blankets.