Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) are reportedly using public transport to ferry inmates from Mutimurefu prison to Masvingo Magistrate’s and High courts due to persistent breakdown of ZPCS security vehicles.
ZPCS Masvingo province has just one security truck that has been down with mechanical faults for over a month. This has left authorities at Mutimurefu with no choice but to resort to public transport and use of some vehicles owned by ZPCS officers.
Contacted for comment, ZPCS Masvingo Public Relations Officer, Assistant Principal Correctional Officer Stanslous Sanike declined to comment and referred all questions to the national spokesperson.
“I cannot comment on that for now, its best that you get in touch with the national spokesperson as he is the one who can give you a response pertaining to that,” said Sanike.
Mutimurefu, which has a holding capacity of 800 inmates is reportedly overwhelmed and is failing to make it possible for inmates to be arraigned before the courts.
Sanike however said he could not reveal the number of inmates at Mutimurefu prison that he said was in violation of their constitution.
“We are not allowed to disclose the number of inmates in jail, and that is according to our constitution. So I cannot give you the number of inmates at the facility,” said Sanike.
ZPCS national spokesperson, Superintendent Meya Khanyenzi was recently quoted in the press saying they had few trucks that are grounded and that they are in dire need of more trucks.
“We do not have enough vehicles to ferry inmates to and from court. Most of the vehicles are down and parked at our workshops countrywide. The current fleet is obsolete and we need more vehicles.
For us to function properly, we require 45 more security trucks,” said Supt Khanyenzi.
ZPCS has 46 facilities spread across the country but only 11 vehicles are servicing all, one vehicle per province while Harare has two servicing six prisons.