‘Don’t leave out inmates in Prisons Bill hearings’

Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum executive director Musa Kika

A CHIKURUBI Maximum Security Prison inmate, Given Mushore, has written to Parliament requesting the inclusion of inmates during public hearings on the Prisons and Correctional Services Bill.

Mushore is represented by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum. 

In a letter addressed to Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda on Wednesday, Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum executive director Musa Kika said their client wants to exercise his constitutional rights to be consulted.

“Our client understands that the Bill, when passed into law, will become the governing law on the establishment of all prisons in Zimbabwe, providing and introducing new standards, for the management and control of all prisons,” Kika submitted.

“As an inmate serving a long custodial sentence, he is directly interested in the legislative process of this Bill and would like to exercise his right to be consulted and input in the formation of this law in terms of Section 141 (b) of the Constitution,”

“We therefore have been instructed to request that as the Bill is taken for public hearings, you facilitate his involvement and all such incarcerated persons who may be interested in the legislative processes of this particular Bill. We have instructions to seek legal recourse should we not hear from you regarding this request within seven days.”

The public hearings started on Monday in Mhangura, Chegutu, Bindura and Harare.

Today the Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Committee groups will host public hearings in Chivi, Zvishavane, Insiza and Gwanda.

The Bill will provide for establishment, functions and administration of the Prisons and Correctional Service, the Prisons and Correctional Service Commission and establishment of prisons and correctional facilities.

It provides for the functions, rights, obligations and discipline of prison officers, the safe custody of all offenders under humane conditions that respect human dignity as well as the rights of unsentenced offenders among others.

The Bill also seeks to repeal the Prisons Act and the substitution of an Act titled the Prisons and Correctional Service Act.

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