via Prison Services fuel crisis halts trials NewZimbabwe 02/03/2014
THE Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has been hit by serious fuel shortages, forcing the postponement of trials at various courts around the country.
ZPCS spokesperson, Elizabeth Banda, confirmed the development saying the problem had affected transportation of prisoners from remand jails to the courts.
“We have been facing a fuel crisis and it has affected transportation of prisoners around the country for the past week,” she said.
Judicial Service Commission Secretary Justice Rita Makarau also said the shortage had affected justice delivery as most people were now spending time in remand prison without having their cases concluded.
“I received a report last week on the shortage of fuel facing ZPCS. Obviously the justice delivery system in the country has been affected as no prisoners have for the past week been transported to the courts,” she said.
The development comes as prisons have been hit by food shortage which forced President Robert Mugabe to recently pardon 2000 convicts.
It also comes amid revelations that non-governmental organisations such as Zimbabwe Red Cross Society had stopped programmes that saw them help feed prisoners.
Virginia Mabhiza and Agrey Machingauta, from the justice ministry and prisons services, said the country’s prisons were experiencing serious food shortages because they were not receiving enough money for the 18,460 inmates.
They told parliamentarians that although $1.2 million was required monthly for food for the prisoners, only $300,000 was allocated.