The High Court has ordered Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS) to supply 60 litres of water daily to every prisoner and also supply inmates with the water containers to arrest the spread of water-borne diseases in holding cells.
BY PRIMROSE HAISA
The order was granted after an inmate at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, Taurai Dodzo and a rights lobby group, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, sued ZPCS over negligence, including failure to provide potable water, exposing prisoners to health risks.
Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, Health minister Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga, Lands minister Anxious Masuka as well as Finance minister Mthuli Ncube were also sued by Dodzo, who claimed the correctional facility was hit by an outbreak of water-borne diseases that included diarrhoea, hepatitis B and tuberculosis.
But Justice Siyabona Musithu on Monday ordered ZPCS to “take temporary measures for the daily supply of at least 60 litres of potable water to each prisoner at Chikurubi Maximum Prison” and “supply each prisoner with water containers whose total capacity should be 60 litres”.
The ZPCS was also ordered to separate healthy inmates from those that are ill to prevent the outbreak of diarrhoeal diseases.
The prisons should, Justice Masithu ordered, provide dietary needs of prisoners and ensure that they eat meat as opposed to beans only.
He also said the hospitals and a pharmacy at the prison facility should also be fully stocked with essential medicines.
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Ncube was ordered to immediately release funds for supplementary daily water supplies to Chikurubi Prison through water bowsers and to purchase containers for the prisoners.
He was also ordered to immediately release funds for the provision of the food supplies that are spelt out in Statutory Instrument 96 of 2012 as well as release funds within two weeks for the supply of adequate essential medicines and requisite medical technology at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.
The court also reversed an order to transfer Dodzo from cell B to D as punishment for making the court application. Conditions in D hall are worse and prisoners in this cell relieve themselves in buckets at night and these will then be emptied the following morning.
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