RUSAPE Prison officials yesterday refused to accept a donation made by the Prison Fellowship of Zimbabwe amid fears that the donated goods had been sourced by losing MDC-T parliamentary aspirant Patrick Sagandira.
Pastor Luke Mundopa, who heads the Rusape chapter of Prison Fellowship of Zimbabwe, said the donation — which included toiletries and foodstuff valued at $500 — was turned down a few minutes after it had been accepted by the prison officials.
“They (prison officials) said they are not prepared to accept the donation, but there were no reasons divulged to me. If they don’t want the donation, then there is nothing we can do. All we wanted to do was to give these inmates something for the holiday,” Mandopa said.
He said his organisation was not political and it accepted donations from churches, politicians, business community or any philanthropist as long as they alleviate the plight of inmates.
Sagandira, who spent almost two weeks at Rusape Remand Prison following his arrest in the run-up to July 31 harmonised elections, yesterday confirmed that he had sourced the goods to alleviate the plight of prisoners.
“I can confirm that I sourced the $500 worth of donation for inmates at Rusape Prison,” Sagandira said.
“When I was at that prison for almost two weeks, I was touched by the deplorable situation inmates were being subjected to. However, it is disappointing to hear that the donation was turned down. Most of the inmates I intended to help are from outside Rusape and there is no one who comes to give them food, toilet paper or soap, especially this holiday. This just only shows the high degree of insensitivity by prison officials,” Sagandira added.
Efforts to get a comment from Rusape Prison officials were fruitless as they were said to be attending the Defence Forces Day celebrations at Vengere Stadium in the town.