7 May 2017

Zimbabwe: Prisons Hit By a Shortage of Plates, Government Begs Churches for Cash

Prisons department has been hit by a shortage of plates and has turned to churches for donations.

This comes after the situation at Bindura Prison, also known as Chawagona-hapana, has become so bad that inmates take turns to eat thereby taking long hours waiting to receive their meals due to a serious shortage of aluminium plates.

Officer-in-charge, Superintendent Kardie Chanetsa, recently circulated letters to different churches in Bindura in which he was appealing for donations of either plates or cash.

According to one of his letters which was read at the Methodist church, in Bindura, Chanetsa attributed the shortage of plates to overcrowding.

"We are appealing for aluminium plates which we want to use for the feeding of prisoners. The shortage of these plates has been caused by huge numbers of inmates the prison is receiving every day and your contribution towards this cause in either cash or kind (plates) is greatly appreciated," read part of the appeal signed by Chanetsa.

The Methodist Church agreed to mobilize resources towards the procurement of the plates and promised to advise the prison officials when they had done so.

Some of the congregants suggested that the church buys the plates and donate them to the prison as opposed to giving cash to prison officials.

The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) is struggling to feed and clothe about 18000 prisoners due to under funding by the government.

The para-military department owes close to $12 million to various service providers for the provision of rates, water, electricity and vehicle hire.

Recently, ZPCS Commissioner General, Paradzai Zimondi, was served with a law suit by the City of Harare for unpaid rates.

ZPCS requires $1 600 000 per month to cater for inmates.

In the 2017 national budget, the treasury allocated the department only $3 042 000 for inmates rations against a target of $28 631 658.

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