AN MDC-T senator has demanded the government provide inmates with “sex gadgets” top curb homosexual activity in the country’s crowded prisons.
Matobo Senator, Sithembile Mlotshwa made the remarks during a meeting of the Parliamentary committee on Gender and Development on Monday.
Mlotshwa told Justice and Legal Affairs Ministry officials that she was concerned that prisoners were picking up homosexuality in prison and spreading it in communities when they are released.
“In other countries they provide sex gadgets and they have also constructed rooms where people go and service themselves when the desire arises,” she said.
But Acting Justice and Legal Affairs Secretary, Maxwell Ranga said it was ridiculous to worry about sex gadgets when the government could not even feed its prisoners.
“If I am struggling to feed and clothe the prisoners, then how can I ask for gadgets? There is therefore need to get rid of some of the rights because it is an incarceration,” he said.
“The money we get monthly isn’t enough to feed and clothe the prisoners. Improving the prison conditions will remain a dream if resources are not improved.”
Ranga said he had even failed to secure $20,000 from treasury recently to deal with a lice and bed-bug infestation in the country’s prisons.
“For instance, we approach Ministry of Finance requesting for US$20 000 to fumigate the prisons kuti tiuraye inda netsikidzi dzirimo, but we are told money is not there,” he said.
However, Mlotshwa would not be put down, insisting prisoners’ rights to sex should be respected.
“We can’t say we don’t have money to feed and clothe prisoners because people can stay without food, but they want their sexual desires to be satisfied whether you like it or not,” she said.
“We can’t ignore and say we don’t have money so we won’t provide those gadgets. As the ministry, are you crying out loud so that the issues can be addressed?”
Mlotshwa last year stirred controversy by suggesting the country could curb the spread of HIV among married couples by injecting husbands with an “immobilizer” to reduce voracious sexual appetites.