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Fuel shortages hit prisons

by Staff reporter
27 Feb 2019 at 06:39hrs | Views
HUNDREDS of inmates detained in various remand prisons throughout the country have failed to attend court for trial due to the current fuel shortages, which have grounded the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS)'s motor vehicle fleet.

Several Bulawayo lawyers, who have their clients detained at Khami Remand Prison, yesterday said the delays were now infringing on their clients' constitutional right to trial within a reasonable timeframe.

One of the lawyers, Bruce Masamvu said he had been going to court since Monday, where he was supposed to represent his three clients, but the trials could not take place after ZPCS cited fuel shortages.

"Prisons [ZPCS] yesterday [Monday] failed to bring prisoners (to court), saying they have no fuel. I am representing three inmates who were arrested for public violence," Masamvu said.

"The situation gives an unjustified additional day in prison for an accused person."

He said several court cases were being postponed because the accused were absent due to lack of transportation.

On Monday, most fuel service stations in Bulawayo had no diesel, resulting in a transport crisis for the commuting public.

Some commuter omnibus operators, who had fuel, hiked fares to $1,50 from $1, as the government-introduced conventional buses failed to cope with demand.

Contacted for comment, ZPCS Bulawayo spokesperson Garainashe Moyo confirmed that the ZPCS had no fuel to transport the inmates.

"It's true that we have no diesel. The problem is that garages which are supposed to supply us have no fuel. We have the coupons to purchase the fuel, but the service stations where we are supposed to get that fuel have none. Once the fuel becomes available at garages, things will go back to normal," Moyo said.

Source - newsday

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