Prisons paltry harvest

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Prison Service's Hurungwe prison has harvested a paltry five bales of tobacco on its more than 1 700 hectare farm, just a few months after its boss Paradzai Zimondi claimed his organisation was realizing maximum yield from its farms at a field day held at Mazowe prison farm in March.

Speaking in an interview, a highly placed source stationed at the service’s projects department who requested anonymity, said Hurungwe Prison farm was one of ZPS’s biggest farms, yet it was the one recording the most humiliating yields. “One of our farms recorded one of the most embarrassing yields this year due to a number of reasons, with part of them being mismanagement and corruption, the source said. “Donors who used to donate farming inputs for us withdrew their services from us citing a number of reasons.

One of the input donors was a company known as Saltlakes which is owned by a top Zanu (PF) official and business man, Temba Mliswa. It is believed that Mliswa was sponsoring prison activities because he wanted to get some favours from the prison boss Paradzai Zimondi. The business man hoped to farm his own share of the crop on the prison farm with the prison providing him with labour in the form of inmates.

“Sometime last year Mliswa proposed to the prison authorities that he grow his tobacco at Chkurubhi farm prison and the offer was turned down resulting in him withdrawing his support for Hurungwe farm prison at a time when they had already made preparations for the tobacco planting,” he said.

No comments could be obtained from the prison authorities. One of the organisation’s Deputies Commissioners Vincent Ndlovu was last month forced to go on leave pending retirement after facing allegations of corruption and incompetence.

Post published in: Economy

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