Zim prisons have over 22,000 inmates; carrying capacity 17,000

Zim prisons have over 22,000 inmates; carrying capacity 17,000

By Xinhua

HARARE: Zimbabwe’s Justice Ministry on Saturday called upon the Treasury to allocate sufficient financial resources in the 2024 national budget to support the justice sector.

During a 2024 pre-budget seminar in Harare, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi said that many departments and independent commissions under the ministry were severely underfunded, leading to compromised justice delivery in the country.

One of the most underfunded departments, according to Ziyambi, is the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, resulting in a shortage of housing for officers, prison holding cells and officers wearing worn-out uniforms.

“Inadequate funding from the Treasury has had a negative impact on the provision of uniforms for both officers and inmates … Security fences that used to provide security to the cantonment areas have all rusted and fallen, leaving cantonment areas without security,” he said.

Zimbabwe’s prisons, designed to hold 17,000 inmates, currently house over 22,000 inmates, Ziyambi added. To address this overcrowding, additional resources are required to revamp holding cells and construct additional courts in small towns.

Finance Minister Mthuli Ncube is expected to present the 2024 national budget later this month, and various government ministries and departments have voiced their need for increased financial resources in the upcoming budget to fulfill their mandates successfully.

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