BY NIZBERT MOYO
BLANKET shortages at Grey Prison in Bulawayo prompted Ship of Zion International Ministries pastor Siphethangani Sibanda to donate bedding to prisoners.
The donation, worth US$350, was made on Tuesday.
Popularly known as Pastor Barack, Sibanda made the US$350 donation on Tuesday this week. He told Southern Eye that he had been touched by the poor living conditions of inmates when he visited the prison last month.
“We went to Grey Prison during family visiting day last month and realised that there were shortages of blankets at the correctional institution. Some prisoners slept on the floor in a prison hall without uniforms. The lighting system was very poor, and we were told that it has been like that for the past three years,” Sibanda said.
Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) staff and rehabilitation officer for Bulawayo province Josephine Moyo said: “We are happy about the donation, especially the blankets… there has been an increase in the number of inmates as we receive new inmates every day. We are (also) experiencing challenges in accessing uniforms and jerseys for inmates, but the government is looking into it,” Moyo said.
In April, a United States Embassy human rights report decried poor prison conditions in the country describing them as harsh and life-threatening due to overcrowding, food shortages, lack of water, physical mistreatment of prisoners, lack of access to personal protective equipment to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and bad sanitary conditions.
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