Chipinge: Mandikisi prison exceeds carrying capacity

By Tamuka Charakupa
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) is appealing for another amnesty to decongest some of its prisons which are crowded.
Currently, Mandikisi Prison is home to more than 450 inmates against its maximum capacity of 350 hence the call to decongest the facility especially in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic and the social distancing requirement.
Safety precautions have been set up at the prison as evidenced by hand washing facilities at its entry and exit points.
Assessing the Covid-19 state of preparedness at the facility, ZPCS Officer Commanding Manicaland Province Assistant Commissioner Spetosomusa Chinobva appealed to the judiciary to avoid effective jail terms for minor crimes.
“Our appeal to the judiciary is if it could avoid effective and mandatory sentence for minor offenders as currently, our prisons are overpopulated. Another request, through the Commissioner-General, is a consideration for another amnesty to release more prisoners so that we are able to manage our population…,” she said.
Assistant Commissioner Chinobva said the prison has already identified an isolation cell at the facility which houses incoming inmates for 14 days as part of preventive measures against Covid-19.
“We have identified an isolation cell at the prison where we keep our new inmates for two weeks before they mix with fellow inmates. During that period we will be monitoring them if they have Covid-19 signs and symptoms…,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Chipinge Rural District Council pledged to construct a borehole at the facility to ensure an adequate supply of clean water and to maintain the road that leads to the prison.
Mandikisi Prison also received sanitisers from Chipinge Central legislator, Honourable Raymore Machingura.