Maputo — Mozambican Prime Minister Carlos Agostinho do Rosario on Friday encouraged inmates at the Ntoto open prison in Chimbunila district, in the northern province of Niassa, to redeem themselves from the harm they have caused society in their criminal past, through productive activities.
“You were sentenced because you had problems with society and it should not be this same society which feeds you”, he said. “So you should produce and you should grow a surplus to feed the society that you offended”.
50 inmates are involved in agricultural activities on the Ntoto field, which covers 22 hectares, 20 of which are now under cultivation. The prisoners are producing crops such as maize, sweet potatoes, and vegetables, to meet the prison's own food needs.
The levels of production achieved by the inmates are considered satisfactory. For the current agricultural year, they expect to harvest 72 tonnes of maize from 18 hectares, and 20 tonnes of sweet potatoes from the remaining two hectares.
“When you leave here, you should show society your real value in agricultural production”, declared Rosario, stressing that Ntoto is an example of rehabilitation without resort to forced labour.
Also on Friday, the Prime Minister visited the Lucumué water treatment station, where the staff explained the challenges they face in supplying water to the provincial capital, Lichinga.
“Currently this water reaches very few people”, Rosario told a crowd at the treatment station. “But an effort is under way to ensure that the water flows to more people. That's why I've come here”.