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Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Government officials tour WhaWha prison complex

Government officials tour WhaWha prison complex

Story by Tafara Chikumira

THE government has moved in to expedite the rehabilitation of infrastructure that was blown away by strong winds and rains at Whawha Medium Prison complex in Gweru over the weekend.

Some top government officials in the province toured the prison complex to assess the extent of damage to property following the destruction of key infrastructure at the institution by a hailstorm.

It emerged during the tour that the government has since activated all its departments to come up with a coordinated approach is dealing with the accommodation crisis that has hit the institution, resulting in the overcrowding of inmates, amid fears of a tuberculosis outbreak.

Midlands Minister of State for Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Honourable Owen Ncube said, “My team has since hit the ground running to get things sorted here. I am told that a BOQ has been compiled and I will be reaching all the necessary offices so that we get the situation back to normal. It’s a matter of time and I can assure you that we will be providing more food and the necessary support here.”

Although they have devised some temporary measures to avert the crisis, prison authorities are still facing an uphill task to deal with the crisis at hand.

“It is still a very tough call which is giving us sleepless nights. What is giving us headaches is the aspect of officers and their spouses who have since been forced to share accommodation. My team is trying to come up with some temporary arrangements but we can’t do it alone as a lot is still required to deal with the problem,” said ZPCS Deputy Officer Commanding Midlands Province Assistant Commissioner, Clemence Chigogo.

According to prison authorities, the destruction of the cells resulted in the moving of around 100 prisoners, while 20 families were directly affected after the destruction of staff quarters.

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