Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services

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Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services
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The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) is responsible for the "protection of society from criminal elements through the incarceration and rehabilitation of convicted persons and others who are lawfully required to be detained, and their reintegration into society; and the administration of prisons and correctional facilities", according to Section 227 of the Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment (No. 20) Act 2013.[1]

It operates under the Ministry of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs.


The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service succeeded the Rhodesia Prison Service which was established by colonial authorities in the 19th century.

It was formed at independence in 1980 and moved away from oppressing, punishing and humiliating offenders to the rehabilitation of the offender.

In 2013 the organisation adopted the name Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service.

The first prison to be established was Salisbury Prison (now Harare Central Prison). It was created in 1892 to deal with natives arrested during the uprisings in Mashonaland.

The second prison to be established was Bulawayo Prison (Grey Prison) following the defeat of the Ndebele state in 1894.

Between 1900 to 1910, a number of penal centres were established throughout the country.

These included Chinhoyi, Chivhu, Gwanda, Gweru, Hwange, Kwekwe, Marondera, Masvingo, Murewa, Mutare, Mutoko, Rusape and Tsholotsho.


The ZPCS is divided into four main portfolios each headed by a Deputy Commissioner General namely Administration, Correctional Services, Audit & Inspectorate and Human Resources.

The prisons are administered under 10 provinces aligned to the 10 political provinces of the country and all the 10 Provincial Headquarters report directly to the National Headquarters.

The 10 provinces are Bulawayo, Harare, Midlands, Manicaland, Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland East, Mashonaland West, Masvingo, Matabeleland North, and Matabeleland South.

There are 10 Provincial Commanders who provide the superintendence, direction and control of the organisation at provincial level and further provide an upward link to the Commissioner General.

The ZPCS also has a training school headed by a Commandant as well as a Staff College headed by a Principal.

  • President of the Republic of Zimbabwe
  • Minister of Justice, Labour and Parliamentary Affairs
  • Commissioner General
  • Deputy Commissioner General

Main Sections

General Duties Section

Comprises staff other than the Specialist and Technical staff, whose mandate is to provide security services/requirements, superintends and administrates prisons and correctional institutions.

Technical Section

Is composed of artisans from the Workshops and Construction Directorates that include motor mechanics, carpenters, welders, upholsterers, builders and others. This section also includes qualified agronomists and other specialists in the field of Agriculture who are responsible for the department’s agricultural production as well as training inmates in the same.

Specialist Section

Includes qualified teachers; Ministers of Religion that is Pastors functioning as Prisons and Correctional service Chaplains; as well as professional health staff such as medical doctors, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, laboratory technicians and environmental health technicians among other health personnel.


Prisons in Harare Metropolitan Province

  • Chikurubi Farm Prison
  • Chikurubi Female Prison
  • Chikurubi Maximum Prison
  • Harare Central Prison
  • Harare Remand Prison

Prisons in Bulawayo Metropolitan Province

  • Khami Maximum Prison
  • Khami Remand Prison
  • Khami Medium Prison
  • Mlondolozi Prison
  • Imbizo /Heany Prison
  • Ntabazinduna Prison
  • Woodvale Prison

Prisons in Matabeleland North Province

  • Anju Prison
  • Binga Prison
  • Hwange Prison
  • Inyathi Prison
  • Lupane Prison
  • Nkayi Prison
  • Tsholotsho Prison

Prisons in Matabeleland South Province

  • Gwanda Prison
  • Plumtree Prison
  • Esigodini Prison
  • Filabusi Prison
  • Kezi Prison

Prisons in Midlands Province

  • Whawha Medium Prison
  • Whawha Young Offenders
  • Whawha Workshops
  • Kwekwe Prison
  • Gokwe Prison
  • Shurugwi Female Prison
  • Mberengwa Prison
  • Zvishavane Prison

Prisons in Masvingo Province

  • Masvingo Remand Prison
  • Mutimurefu Prison
  • Zaka Prison
  • Bikita Prison
  • Gutu Prison
  • Chiredzi Prison
  • Mwenezi Prison

Prisons in Manicaland Province

  • Mutare Remand Prison
  • Mutare Farm Prison
  • Chipinge Prison
  • Rusape Prison
  • Little Kraal Farm Prison

Prisons in Mashonaland East Province

  • Chivhu Prison
  • Murewa Prison
  • Mutoko Prison
  • Marondera Prison
  • Ridigta Prison

Prisons in Mashonaland West Province

  • Banket Prison
  • Chinhoyi Prison
  • Kadoma Prison
  • Hurungwe Prison
  • Kariba Satellite
  • Karoi Prison

Prisons in Mashonaland Central Province

  • Bindura Prison
  • Mt Darwin Prison
  • Mazowe Prison
  • Guruve Prison
  • Pednor Prison

Rehabilitation Programmes

Open Prison

The open prison system seeks to move prisoners from closed prisons with the focus being on rehabilitation, counseling and re-integration.

The prisoners enjoy additional privileges which are not enjoyed by those at closed prisons such as:

  • Free movement
  • Late lock-up
  • Television viewing
  • Access to telephone
  • Less supervision during work and they are also allowed to visit their families if they apply and authority is granted.
  • Opportunity to attend lessons at colleges within the vicinity of the open prison

Skills Training and Academic Education

The skills will enable one to find employment or to engage in activities that are necessary for their life after prison. These activities include:

  • Professional Courses
  • Academic Education Grade 1-7, Form 1-6
  • Metalwork
  • Panel Beating
  • Spray Painting
  • Tailoring
  • Carpentry
  • Bricklaying
  • Painting

Inmates are also afforded the opportunity to undergo basic to tertiary education that is, Grade 1-7, Ordinary and Advanced level.

Vocational Training

The Harare Central Vocational Training Centre (HCVTC)'s main objective is to reduce the tendency of convicted criminals to re-offend and unemployment by providing vocational training and job creation projects for those who have been incarcerated.

The institution is registered with the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education Science and Technology.

Academic Education

When prisoners are first admitted into prison, they are interviewed by Education Officer to ascertain their level of education and their educational needs.

The inmates are then categorized into three levels namely; primary school, secondary and tertiary. Qualified teachers are then assigned to each category.

Spiritual Counseling

This is aimed at catering to the spiritual needs of prisoners and officers.

The ZPCS has recruited ordained ministers of religion who preach to both prisoners and officers and provide religious counseling.

Psychological Rehabilitation

This involves the use of counseling and psychotherapy to address inmates' offending behavior.

Sports and Recreation

The sporting and recreational activities are used by ZPCS as part of stress management and improvement of their physical health. Inmates are involved in the following programmes:

  • Traditional dance
  • Drama
  • Contemporary music
  • Soccer
  • Netball
  • Chess
  • Volleyball

Contact Details


PRISONS NATIONAL HEADQUARTERS 47 Mbuya Nehanda street P. Bag 7718 Causeway Harare




Email: zpcspr@zpcs.gov.zw

Further Reading

  1. Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service, Published: No Date was Given Retrieved: 31 October 2022

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