By Staff Reporter
A HIGH-RANKING Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services official says the organisation envisioned elimination of malnutrition in the country as part of its goals.
Hwahwa prison boss Nelson Chikwature, in appreciating a donation of fruit tree seedlings to the facility by the country’s telecommunications giant TelOne, said the donation came at an opportune moment.
He added that fruits will indeed go a long way in transforming the prison’s nutritional levels.
The country’s prisons have been assailed by a plethora of challenges chief among them being poor diets.
TelOne donated 100 fruit trees at Hwahwa, Friday.
“Let me hasten to register our profound appreciation, as an organisation for the invaluable gesture of fruit trees which I strongly believe will go a long way in transforming the nutritional levels in our prisons, notwithstanding other herbal benefits derived from trees,” Chikwature said.
He said fruits were needed for everyone’s wellbeing.
“It is common knowledge that fruits are a vital cog in every person’s daily diet. With their rich content in vitamins, they have the positive effects of reducing or totally eliminating a plethora of diseases,” he said.
Chikwature, praised the TelOne donation.
“Thus, for a healthy population, we certainly need fruits, hence this generous donation resonates well with our vision to eliminate malnutrition from our institutions,” he said.
TelOne Corporate Services Director Hopewell Chinyau said parastatal was expanding its Prisons Nurseries and Orchards Project which was launched last year at Chikurubi Prison farm as part of its Corporate Social Investment programme.
The expansion will see the increase in the orchard size at Chikurubi, Hwahwa and Marondera Prisons.
“The project which started as an environmental intervention through tree planting with an establishment donation of 10,000 seeds and seedlings for a variety of trees and water system establishment is aimed at empowering inmates and contribute to prisons self-sufficiency in the long-run,” he said.
Zinyau said partnership with ZPCS was meant to expand TelOne tree planting programme in a cost effective manner as the tree seedlings for TelOne programmes will be provided for under the project while ZPCS will also benefit from the programme by selling the seedlings to other clients and partners for its sustainability.
“Furthermore, the orchards are expected to start producing fruits for prisoners’ consumption and also for sale with proceeds expected to benefit Prisons and Correctional Services,” he said.
Currently, Chikurubi prison farm is the hub of an established nursery that has already started producing seedlings which are now being handed over to other prisons for orchard establishment and expansion to mark this year’s tree planting day as a way of expanding and strengthening the project.
“Today, Hwahwa prison is the first beneficiary of the tree seedlings as TelOne donates the tree seedlings countrywide,” Zinyau said.
“We are proud to present to Hwahwa some of the tree seedlings that were produced under this programme at Chikurubi Prison Farm as we seek to expand the programme further and have more Prisons benefit through starting their own orchards or expanding their already existing orchards. The tree seedlings will benefit more than 1 000 inmates at Hwahwa Prison,” he said.
Meanwhile, TelOne will hold its main event of tree planting in Marondera which will be graced by TelOne Managing Director Chipo Mutasa as well as Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services Commissioner General Moses Chihobvu.
TelOne has been running the tree planting programme since 2017 where tree seedlings have been donated to various institutions for the development of orchards and woodlots.