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MRP petitions prison services over jailed members

Local News
Jail

SECESSIONIST Mthwakazi Republic Party (MRP) yesterday petitioned the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) over the incarceration of its nine activists and the unexplained transfer of eight of them to Chikurubi Maximum Prison in Harare.

ZPCS last week transferred  Mongameli Xukuthwayo Mlotshwa, Nkosinathi Ncube, Tinos Nkomo, Levison Ncube, Ackim Ndebele, Welcome Moyo, Sibongile Banda and Busi Moyo to Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare following a directive from ’authorities‘.

Only Maxwell Nkosi was transferred to Gwanda.

A petition signed by MRP president Mqondisi Moyo dated September 5 and directed to ZPCS Commissioner-General Moses Chikobvu and copied to President Emmerson Mnangagwa, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and  Bulawayo Metropolitan Affairs minister Judith Ncube demanded reversal of the transfers.

"MRP is challenging the sentencing and imprisonment of its nine members on June 3, 2022 at Bulawayo Magistrate Court without a satisfactory account of their crime," Moyo wrote.

"On August 27, 2022, the prison authorities, likely under the directions of the Executive wing of the Zimbabwean government, transferred eight of the prisoners to Chikurubi Maximum Prison, and one to Gwanda Prison."

Moyo said the transfer was unprocedural and against the wish of the prisoners. He also described it as against the law and, therefore, violating the rights of prisoners.

"While serving at Khami and Mlondolozi prisons, our members had the right to be visited by their families, friends and acquaintances, and visits were regularly paid. With the eight's transfer to Chikurubi, it is now difficult for our members to enjoy their right of being visited," Moyo wrote.

"The conditions under which our members are living in Chikurubi are inhumane. They have no regard for human life. The message of the conditions is, ‘even if they die here, we don't mind‘. One of the eight Welcome Moyo, is made to spend nights handcuffed, and in leg irons. Why on earth should it be like this?"

Moyo alleged that the imprisoned MRP members’ constitutional right to food was being violated because they were not being adequately fed and clothed.

“The conditions mentioned expose our members to malnutrition, disease and emotional trauma, which may lead to death. Death is not a correctional measure, unless killing has become part of the correctional services," Moyo wrote.

"We want, as a party, to know why our members were transferred from Khami and Mlondolozi to Chikurubi Prison. Their purported crime was committed in Bulawayo. If they had, indeed, committed a crime, they were supposed to serve their terms at Khami and Mlondolozi prisons, not at Chikurubi, not Gwanda."

He demanded to know if this marked the beginning of the implementation of Mnangagwa's threats to cut short the lives of those who insist on calling for Mthwakazi secession from Zimbabwe.

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