Prisons Boss Defends Five-star Treatment For Ex-minister Prisca Mupfumira

2 years ago
Tue, 01 Jun 2021 09:52:02 GMT
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Prisons Boss Defends Five-star Treatment For Ex-minister Prisca Mupfumira

The Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS) said that it does not give preferential treatment to some inmates as has been claimed.

ZPCS has been accused of showing favour to incarcerated ex-Cabinet ministers and other public figures by separating them from other inmates and offering them special treatment.

However, ZPCS Deputy Commissioner-General Christine Manhivi said the practice is meant to protect them against violence and harassment as such public figures were prone to abuse in the cells.

Speaking during an all-stakeholder anti-graft Indaba organised by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and Transparency International Zimbabwe (TIZ) in Harare recently, Manhivi said:

We have different classes of inmates who, all need protection in terms of the law. All of us are potential prisoners and we must protect inmates as required by the law.

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Ministers and other public figures are prone to verbal and physical abuse when in custody by some angry inmates.

Recently a female minister who was in remand prison was harassed and threatened with violence by some inmates who accused of failing to build proper cells while in Government.

We had to remove her and place her in a different cell as a way of protecting her from attack.

This follows reports indicating that former Cabinet minister Prisca Mupfumira arrested for corruption-related charges was offered five-star treatment in remand prison.

Reports also made rounds that some prison officers had developed relationships with inmates to an extent of allowing them to be intimate with their partners in solitary cells while serving.

Other inmates were reportedly seen attending family funerals when they are expected to be in prison.

However, legal experts described the practice as unfair. Harare lawyer Alex Majachani said:

It is not appropriate at all. It violates the right to equality before the law. All inmates have the same status in prisons and no one must be treated differently.

Again, high ranking officials need to appreciate the conditions of prisons once they are caught on the wrong side of the law.

More: The Herald



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