via Prison service mulls open jail for female inmates | The Herald 16 July 2014 by Nyemudzai Kakore
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) plans an open prison system for female inmates, including those on death row, ZPSC Commissioner-General Retired Major-General Paradzai Zimondi has said.
In an interview after making a presentation at the Zimbabwe Staff College on Monday, Comm-Gen Zimondi said resource constraints were stalling the project.
“Our female prison population does not exceed 400 around the country. It is less than 500, so almost all the female institutions qualify for open prison.
“They are only two or three on the death row and they could also qualify because if the President allows that (through the Presidential pardon). They will need special permission from the minister but everybody qualifies,” he said.
“The fact of the matter is that if resources were made available we would have built an open prison some time ago for women. We have the place in Marondera.”
Comm-Gen Zimondi bemoaned the way Chikurubi Female Prison was constructed, saying it was not user-friendly.
Comm-Gen Zimondi said the rehabilitation of prisoners was hamstrung by shortage of resources.
“Our rehabilitation programme does not cover everybody because we target certain groups. If the rehabilitation programme targets 50 people and we have got 3 000 or 4 000 people, we do it stage by stage,” he said.
He dismissed as unfounded reports that inmates were dying of hunger.
“There is nobody who is dying in prison. The occurrence of death in prison is just a reflection of what happens in the society,” Comm-Gen Zimondi said.