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Mutimurefu inmates bathing in toilet bowls


Mutimurefu inmates bathing in toilet bowls




MASVINGO –  High Court Judge, Justice Garainesu Mawadze, has ordered an investigation at Mutimurefu Prison after claims that D Class inmates are being denied buckets and are bathing in toilet bowls were raised in court.

On Friday last week, Prosecutor Emmanuel Matose was ordered to conduct the investigation and submit the report and the outcome to the clerk of the High Court.

D Class inmates are serving long-term sentences ranging from seven years and above, including those who would have committed serious crimes like murder, armed robbery, fraud, or rape, among others.

Shepherd Chinhara, a D Class inmate, alleged that D Class prisoners are bathing using water from toilet bowls because they are denied buckets. He also claimed that D Class prisoners are locked up the whole day and denied the mandatory 30 minutes of exercise time. 

Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Masvingo spokesperson, Stanslous Sanike refuted the claims when contacted for a comment.

“That is not true. Inmates are allowed 30 minutes of exercise in the morning, afternoon and evening. They also have buckets. It is not logical for them to bath in toilet bowls,” said Sanike.

Chinhara made the allegations when he appeared before Justice Mawadze for sentencing in a murder case. He and his accomplices, Needmore Chipoterwa, Kudakwashe Nyashanu and Edson Donza, were convicted of murdering Rutendo Ndega of Target Kopje in February 2021.

The four were given a life sentence each despite Chinhara pleading with Justice Mawadze not to read the judgment because his blood pressure was high. He also told Justice Mawadze that prison officers threatened to kill him for allegedly influencing other inmates to speak up for their rights. 

Chinhara was relieved of his duties from Mutimurefu Prison where he was employed as a prison officer in February 2017. It is alleged that he aided Nyashanu who is his accomplice in the murder of Ndega to escape from prison. 

“My Lord, I am not fit to hear the judgment because my blood pressure is high. Prison officers accuse me of influencing other inmates to speak up for their rights because I know prison laws. I have since written a letter to the officer-in-charge telling him of the privileges of bathing and the threats to my life,” pleaded Chinhara.

His plea was, however, turned down by Justice Mawadze who instead asked Matose to investigate Chinhara’s claim.

“Your rights as an inmate should be respected. The State will investigate the alleged denial of exercise time for D Class inmates, improper bathing facilities and threats from prison officers. 

“Matose should investigate the matter, and the Officer-In-Charge (OIC) should put his answer in writing. The report will be submitted, to the clerk of the High Court on June 24, 2022. 

“However, the court will proceed to pass its judgment on the case you are facing today. There is nothing we can do about your emotional condition,” said Justice Mawadze before sentencing the murderers. https://masvingomirror.com/

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