An estimated 80% of inmates at Hwange and Binga prisons are facing rape charges, a report by the Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Human Rights has revealed.
Committee chairman Misheck Marava tabled the report in Senate on Tuesday, and urged authorities to investigate the trend and find out why rape was prevalent in those areas.
Marava said this while presenting a report on the state of prisons in Matabeleland Province following the committee’s visit to Khami, Mlondolozi, Binga and Hwange prisons.
“The committee expresses concern over the fact that 80% of prisoners at Hwange Prison had been incarcerated or are awaiting trial for rape crimes,” said Marava.
“We recommend that the Ministry of Justice and Legal Affairs should carry out a thorough research on the causes of 80% rape cases at Hwange and Binga prisons,” he said.
The committee also said it was not happy about an incident where a prison officer at Binga prison was recently found addressing inmates while wearing Zanu PF party regalia.
“The committee was disappointed by an officer found addressing inmates wearing party regalia at Binga prison. We asked the overzealous officer to get away from the prison. He was not even on duty that particular day and had just come to help,” Marava said.
Marava said inmates complained of inadequate clothing, food, anti-retroviral drugs and sanitary pads at most prisons. Foreign prisoners also asked for their embassies to be advised of their incarceration.