Monday, 15 March 2021

LAND BARON RELEASE ABOVE BOARD : PRISON SERVICE

THE Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service says the temporary release from remand prison for a property developer to attend his father-in-law’s funeral in August last year was above board.

Felix Munyaradzi was granted temporary release from prison by Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi.

ZPCS were responding to allegations by one Collen Mavhundutse that prison officials had corruptly released Munyaradzi.

In a statement, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service acting spokesperson Peter Chaparanganda said the facts recorded in the ZPCS occurrence books indicate that then inmate left prison in the morning and reported back at 1600hrs of the same day.

“The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service has taken note with concern the exaggerated falsehoods raised by Mr Collen Mavhundutse in his sworn affidavit,” said Chaparanganda.

“The organization would like to categorically state and advise the public that Felix Munyaradzi, an inmate, who was remanded in custody at Harare Remand Prison was granted temporary release from prison to go and attend the funeral of his father in-law by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi on 14 August 2020.

“The Minister is empowered to exercise these powers by the Prison Act [Chapter 7:11] Section 129 which states that “The Minister may, subject to such conditions as he may specify, grant a prisoner permission in writing to be absent from prison for a specified period for personal, family or other reasons if, in the opinion of the minister, the circumstances of the case warrant the granting of such permission.”

“In this regard, the inmate was temporarily released under ZPCS securiy surveillance for a specified period in accordance with the above quoted Section of the Prison Act.

“The case of Felix Munyaradzi is not an individual case where incarcerated inmates are legally granted temporary release from prison as several inmates have benefited in line with provisions of the Prison Act, whenever circumstances warranted the granting of such release.

“We would also like to take this opportunity to advise the public to seek legal opinion or advice before making any allegations out of ignorance on legal provisions,” said Chaparanganda.

Munyaradzi was, in August last year, granted $55 000 bail on other stringent conditions after the High Court found no compelling reasons to keep him in custody pending trial on charges of selling State land and unserviced stands. H Metro

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