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‘Punish prison sex offenders’


MDC-T Senator Morgan Femai on Tuesday urged government to introduce punitive measures by prosecuting culprits of homosexuality in Zimbabwe’s prisons.

Femai was contributing to debate on the first report of the Thematic Committee on Human Rights on the state of prisons and prisoners in Zimbabwe.
“When prisoners see a new inmate coming, the old inmates regard the new inmate as a woman and they do so to sexually abuse young inmates,” Femai said.

“If you look at the history of that person, you will find that even before imprisonment they deliberately committed sodomy so that they get imprisoned and continue their practice of sodomising others in prison since the practice is rampant there.”

Femai said culprits should be punished heavily once convicted.

“Those prisoners should be re-arrested, tried and given hefty sentences for sodomising other men. A lot of people have relatives who have been abused in prisons and when they come out of prison you find they will be ill because they have been sexually abused and in some cases they would have contracted HIV,” Femai said.

He said churches and industry should also play a role in trying to alleviate the problem of hunger and lack of decent clothing in Zimbabwe’s prisons.

Mutasa-Nyanga Senator Patrick Chitaka said living conditions for prisoners on remand should be improved because in most cases they lived in appalling conditions for months without trial only to be found innocent when the matter was brought to court.

Chief Clemence Nembire from Mashonaland West said government should ensure children with their mothers in prison were given birth certificates.

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