Cash-strapped ZPCS suspends recruitment of guards

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THE Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has suspended recruitment of prison wardens this year although government had already approved its request to recruit more than 12 000 officers this year.

by NQOBANI NDLOVU

ZPCS spokesperson Elizabeth Banda-Karinda yesterday said the programme had been shelved due to budgetary constraints.
Two months ago, ZPCS Commissioner-General Paradzai Zimondi told Southern Eye that his organisation’s plans to recruit
12 671 prison wardens had been approved by government.

“There is no recruitment training this year because of budgetary constraints,” Banda-Karinda said. “We have not received any budget allocations for the recruitment and all that we are getting from Treasury is for the basic needs for the running of prisons, and nothing else.”

The recruitment would have doubled the ZPCS’ workforce to 22 000 from 10 000, at a time when Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa is contemplating trimming the civil service’s “unsustainable” wage bill.

The ZPCS faces many challenges which include overcrowding in prisons, fuel, food and clothing shortages which caused inmates at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison to run riot in March this year.

About $1,2 million is reportedly required every month to feed prisoners countrywide, but the ZPCS is only getting about $300 000 a month.