Official warns of starvation in prisons

A critical food shortage has hit the prisons, raising fears of disease outbreaks and starvation. The Chairperson of the Zimbabwe Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the Offender, Edison Chiota, said the plight of prisoners required urgent attention.

“We are trying to push for an all stakeholders meeting to find ways of solving this problem in our prisons. The situation is very bad. Prisoners are having to live on one meal a day. The food is badly cooked and diseases such as pellagra have become common,” he said.

Sources at the Zimbabwe Prison Service said the situation was worse at Chikurubi and Khami where authorities had reduced daily rations for inmates significantly.

“The situation is worse for the major prisons that do not have farms on which they can produce their own maize to feed the prisoners. As a result, they have had to rely on government for support. Reserves have dried up and what is being sourced is being consumed straight away,” said a source.

ZPS Chief Prison Officer, Simon Kaondo, downplayed the reports and insisted that the food situation was normal.

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