Prisoners surviving on one meal a day

Prisoners are surviving on one meal a day of sadza and roasted peanuts or a small portion of half cooked cabbage, according to a statement issued by MDC-T this week.

Zimbabwe prisoner.
Zimbabwe prisoner.

The party said such meals were against government’s prison dietary policy. “It leads to serious malnutrition, exposing the prisoners to the deadly pellagra and other contagious diseases. A jail sentence should not be a death sentence,” read the statement.

It called on government to partner with other institutions to improve the situation and avoid a repeat of the pre-2008 period when thousands of inmates allegedly died due to hunger and poor hygiene conditions.

The Parliamentary Thematic Committee on Human Rights has in the past condemned the country’s prisons describing them as “hell holes” with no basic necessities such as clothing, blankets, towels and soap.

Worst affected prisons include Chikurubi Maximum, Harare Central and Remand, Bulawayo’s Khami Maximum and Hwahwa in Gweru. The party also criticised Justice and Legal Affairs Ministry officials of blocking deputy minister, Obert Gutu, to visit prisons, citing lack of resources.

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