ZPS looking for business partners

prisoners_in_jailBULAWAYO Zimbabwe Prison Service (ZPS) is seeking investors to come and aid the vibrant workshops at Khami prison complex. (Pictured: Prisoners in jail)

The officer in charge for Khami Medium Prison said the inmates were engaged in a massive income generating projects at the prison complex. “Our inmates, both men and women, are involved in projects that will see a number of them getting experience and making good use of their rehabilitation period,” he said.

The major challenge that is affecting the vibrant workshops is funding. “We are in desperate need of funding to revive these workshops because they are proving to be of great assistance to the inmates. Currently the inmates are involved in farming, horticulture, cattle and goat rearing, horse ranching, candle making, tailoring and tin smithing just to mention a few. We just need cash injections in to these projects for them to operate at full capacity, he said.

The prison is hoping to get investors who will fund the projects and see them operating at full scale. “We have state of the art pig stys available and we are seeking an investor who can come and utilize them. We are sitting on a lot of money that can aid the prison in the event that some one comes forward,” he added. The prison also has a herd of over 290 cattle.

“We have about 293 cattle at our complex that are beef cows, we do have some that are dairy cows. The milk we get is fed to the prisoners and surplus is sold to prison officers, the beef is also used to feed them. At one point we used to supply Mpilo Central hospital, but due to reasons beyond our control we have since stopped,” said Senior Prison Officer, Siphiwe Chikayi, the farm manager.

She called for the business community and other interested people to invest in the dairy project and also to provide milking machines to make the process faster. A total of 23 hectors are under cultivation of both maize, sorghum and various crops while 20 hectors of arable land is still to be used if seeds and pesticides are sourced.

A white commercial farmer from South Africa donated a water pump and the pipes for irrigation last year and this has gone along way in aiding the farm. According to officials at the prison, they are capable of starting a poultry project if they get capital, as the facilities for that project are available.

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