Tuesday, 26 December 2017

PRISON CONDITIONS INHUMAN : FIRST LADY

First Lady Auxillia Mnangagwa on Monday urged the public, including serving prison inmates, to avoid settling disputes through emotions as this would lead to incarceration, stalling progress in life.

Addressing inmates at Chikurubi Female Prison in Harare after celebrating Christmas Day with the female inmates following her donation of groceries worth thousands of dollars, Amai Mnangagwa said it was not easy to be imprisoned as this separated inmates from the community as well as from their loved ones.

“Prison is not a favourable place that one wishes to be in. Let us avoid solving arguments when we are angry as we will live to regret it. You do not wish to be here as most of you are young mothers who have children and families to look after,” she said.

“This is a correctional facility which teaches you not to repeat the same mistakes. Upon your release, you should educate the outside world the norms and values that you learn here of living harmoniously in communities and desist from committing crimes.

“Today is the day where we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Most people plan on how they will spend the day but for me, l did not plan to visit you beginning January. I thought of it yesterday to spend and celebrate time with you on this special day.”

The First Lady was accompanied by Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi, Finance and Economic Development Deputy Minister Terrence Mukupe and Commissioner-General of Prisons and Correctional Services Rtd Major-General Paradzai  Zimondi. Amai Mnangagwa urged Government to renovate prison facilities which she had toured saying they were not favourable conditions for human habitation. She also called for a review of living conditions for mentally challenged prisoners.

The First Lady promised the inmates that she will convey the message to President Mnangagwa for their appeal for an amnesty as the prisoners said they have reformed. Maj-Gen Zimondi (Rtd) thanked Amai Mnangagwa for her gesture saying this was the first visit by a First Lady since his appointment as the Commissioner General for Prisons.

Meanwhile, Amai Mnangagwa also visited Harare Children’s Home where she fed the children and donated goods worth thousands of dollars to 25 children’s homes as well as five foster homes. She was accompanied by Harare Provincial Affairs Minister Miriam Chikukwa. She said her visits should not be regarded as a political stunt only reserved for the festive period but a continuous exercise as their plight had touched her heart.
“This visit comes at a time when my visits and subsequent interface with orphans and other disadvantaged groups in Bulawayo and its surrounding areas opened my eyes to the simple but difficult lives they live,” she said.

“We need to work hard in this new dispensation to improve the lives of our people. On a day when the world celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ, l take pride in being not only with orphans and other disadvantaged people but in giving and sharing with them various goods as a symbol of love and care.” Amai Mnangagwa also appealed to the corporate world to assist Government institutions in looking after the vulnerable groups.

The First Lady donated blankets, cases of rice, washing powder, soaps, sanitary wear, salt, beans, sugar and other necessities to Chikurubi Female Prison as well as the children’s homes. Herald

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