JUSTICE minister Emmerson Mnangagwa yesterday urged the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) to make maximum use of its farms and prison labour to produce adequate food to feed the inmates and contribute towards national food security.
Speaking at the conferment of the rank of Commissioner-General to prison boss Paradzai Zimondi, Mnangagwa said: “It remains my expectation that the department must have all the modern instruments that will guarantee production and self-sustenance in terms of feeding the prison population and contributing both to national granary and enhancement of national security.”
He said ZPCS should be self-sufficient and stop depending on financial support from Treasury to fund its operations.
“I am aware that the ZPCS has all the necessary human capital, land and opportunities for it to become a leading correctional service provider in the region and beyond.
“We expect you to bring in with you creative and innovative ideas that would turn the service wheels with much vigour, composure for enhanced organisational performance and service delivery,” Mnangagwa said.
“As Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, I will continue to lobby that the department gets adequate financial support from Treasury to capacitate and enable it to discharge its constitutional mandate as both expected and required.
“Inadequate funding from the Treasury has been the major challenge which has derailed the service’s zeal to achieve its goals and objectives.”
Zimbabwe’s 47 prison centres have often been described as hell-holes due to overcrowding and food shortages.
Zimondi’s deputies Fadzai Mupure, Rhodes Moyo and Aggrey Huggins Machingauta were also conferred with the ranks of Deputy Commissioner-Generals of Prisons.
The elevation of the prison officials was done in accordance with the new Constitution and the organisation’s restructuring and expansion drive.