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Mohadi warns prison officers against ill-treating imates

by Staff Reporter
30 Nov 2019 at 06:45hrs | Views
VICE President Kembo Mohadi has warned Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) officers against ill-treating inmates, saying their conscience should be guided by the need to observe human rights.

He was speaking at the 148th ZPCS pass-out parade at Ntabazinduna Prison Training School yesterday, where 553 prison officers, 150 of whom were females, graduated after six months of training. VP Mohadi said corruption is a cancer, which would not be tolerated in the Second Republic.

"As correctional officers, you should desist from corrupt activities and lead by example. We expect you to treat inmates with utmost fairness, respect and dignity while displaying courage in the performance of your sworn duty. Your conscience should always be guided by the need to observe human rights," he said.

The Vice President said corruption negates the gains towards the achievement of an upper middle-income economy by 2030.

"The reconstitution and consolidation of the powers of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission by His Excellency the President ED Mnangagwa is testimony of our zero tolerance to corruption. There will be no sacred cows and therefore, you as incoming correctional officers as well as those already serving should read the writing clearly. Boldly join the crusade against corruption," he said.

VP Mohadi said there is a need to build communities and a society that has strong values through a correctional service that supports the grooming of citizens through a positive penal system.

"Peace and nation building are integral to economic and social development. A positive correctional service therefore is a critical restorative vehicle for the building of peace. Your fight against crime as well as the rehabilitation of the offender is key to guiding the citizen on economic and social development," he said.  

Turning to the graduates, VP Mohadi congratulated the recruits for successfully undergoing a rigorous training programme, in which only nine failed to make the grade and had to drop out.

The areas covered during training included constitutionalism, the criminal justice and prisons penal system in Zimbabwe, prison administration, rehabilitation, drill and weapon-handling, health and hygiene, the Mandela Rules (formerly the UN Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of offenders) and civic education.

"I am convinced that the training that you underwent will unlock opportunities for further career development. The professional world you are going into is dynamic and competitive and it requires determination and commitment," VP Mohadi said.

The VP said despite the prevailing economic hardships that the country is going through due to illegal sanctions, Zimbabweans must be patient, as the measures being implemented by the Government were part of the stabilisation process to grow the economy. ZPCS Commissioner-General Retired Major-General Paradzai Zimondi said the correctional services has transformed from a punitive and retributive approach to a more rehabilitative approach.

"Following the 2013 constitutional developments which saw ZPCS being rebranded and reconfigured, the organisation is embracing and scaling up the offender rehabilitation and reintegration thrust. In this regard, the ZPCS has moved from a retributive approach and embraced the rehabilitation approach in the management of our prisons," he said.

Rtd Maj-Gen Zimondi said as a result, their training officers must impart to inmates skills that they will utilise upon release from prison in line with international best prison practices.

He said ZPCS' obligations hinge on improved production to enhance self-sustenance in food production and realise surplus, income generation through cash crop production and commercialisation of workshop activities thus relieving pressure on the fiscus and maintaining peace and tranquility by ensuring public safety through safe custody of offenders.

"We are extending sound rehabilitation programmes to inmates so that they become empowered and ensure that upon discharge from prison institutions they should be able to live as productive and law-abiding citizens," said Rtd Maj-Gen Zimondi.

Source - Chronicle

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