By Yolanda Moyo
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) remains focused on helping inmates gain meaningful expertise, with those at Khami Prison having gained life skills through assembling motorcycles.
“I have been learning to assembly motorcycles here at Khami Prison and this skill is proving to be beneficial to me,” an inmate said.
Another said, “I am already seeing my self-fixing motorcycles for different officer in my area Binga, be it for local government people or Nongovernmental organisations.”
The correctional industries project has not only benefitted inmates and the ZPCS but the country as well.
“CSI overseers (trade qualified supervisors) provide competency training for all processes. So far, we are training 20 inmates in motor cycle assembling and also assembling water pumps and generators.
“The motorcycles we are assembling we are providing them to the Ministry of Agriculture and other various companies who use these for mobility,” said the CEO Correctional Industries and Manufacturing, Chief Superintendent Gift Ncube.
Director Correctional Industries and Manufacturing Angelo Pereira said, “Some of the profits from these industries are channelled towards improving the welfare of inmates. By doing so we are contributing to the well-being of inmates at the same time reducing the strain on the national fiscus.
“We are eyeing on growing this business to neighbouring countries such as Zambia and Botswana, where we train their inmates for free and sign deals with them for bring the sole supplier of the motorcycles for ten years. This will in turn increase foreign currency revenue on government.”
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli Ncube also has great appreciation of the work being done at Khami and pledged more government support.
The Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Professor Mthuli was impressed by the project.
“I am very pleased with what is being done at Khami Prison and industry will certainly benefit from access to an increasing range of manufacturing and other service capabilities provided by inmates.
“As treasury we will intervene and help such industries grow and they are working towards improving our economy. We need more of these initiatives in the country.”
Last year, 17 inmates were successfully trade tested in programmes such as electronics, motor mechanics and welding.
Currently, there are 51 inmates undergoing skills training in various programmes in Bulawayo alone.