'Mentally challenged inmates rot in prison'

HARARE - Mentally challenged female inmates are rotting in the Chikurubi Maximum Prison due to the unavailability of a Mental Health Review Tribunal (MHRT), a legislator has said.

Zanu PF Member of Parliament for Harare East, Terrence Mukupe, who toured the maximum security facility recently, said he came “face-to-face with horrors faced by female inmates”.

The MHRT had not been sitting reportedly because of lack of allowances.

Efforts to get a comment from Health ministry permanent secretary, Gerald Gwinji, did not bear fruit.

“…interestingly we have mentally challenged inmates who should have been discharged years ago but have not because the Mental Health Review Tribunal has not been sitting because of lack of allowances,” Mukupe said.

“It’s just not right that these mentally challenged inmates who have been rehabilitated cannot be discharged for years just because there are no allowances for these board members to sit,” he said.

Mukupe said he would raise the issue with Health minister David Parirenyatwa during the National Assembly’s question and answer time, he said.

During a prison visit by legislators recently, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) deputy officer commanding Harare province Elizabeth Banda admitted that the female prisoners were living in dire conditions.

“Sanitary wear is a thorny issue at this place. It makes us crack our heads all the time, even hospital fees are now beyond us because we don’t have the money. Our budget is zero from fiscus,” she said, adding: “It’s not forthcoming at the present moment. We have our own initiatives but it is not adequate.”

Bemoaning lack of vehicles to ferry female prisoners’ to hospital, Banda said nothing was coming from treasury before pleading with well-wishers to assist.

Despite inadequate funding, ZPCS is currently providing empowerment programmes, with inmates receiving educational and professional qualifications as well as various rehabilitation activities.

Comments (4)

Well wishers can assist but the problem is the zanu pf government which is not accountable to anyone but itself.Whatever is donated by well wishers always end up in zanu pf leaders and their relatives pockets.Donating through the Zim govt is like throwing your money in an endless pit.Some donated foodstuffs in Masvingo province are being withheld for no other reason ,but to use the food as a political tool.

Janana wa Bikaz - 19 December 2016

very sad state of affairs. Oh Lord intervene for these souls

kelly - 19 December 2016

Its so sad the relevant ministries must deal withthe relevant problems,an be transparent so mudt the media be transparent then ee will not gave so much problems,an people in business com forward to help

Susun - 20 December 2016

Its so sad the relevant ministries must deal withthe relevant problems,an be transparent so mudt the media be transparent then ee will not gave so much problems,an people in business com forward to help

Susun - 20 December 2016

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.