Prisons Boss Bemoans Rampant Corruption In Jails

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent

CORRUPTION is rampant in Zimbabwe’s prison facilities as wardens and inmates frequently fraternise to relax and ease jail terms and conditions, a top official has said.

Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Commissioner-General, Moses Chihobvu described the vice as cancer reversing gains the country has been making in national development.

Speaking in Chinhoyi Tuesday, in a speech read on his behalf by Provincial Commissioner Pambayi during a medals conferment ceremony, Chihobvu warned prison officers against corruption.

He threatened to weed out perpetrators.

“Those who are caught on the wrong side of the law will face justified disciplinary action which usually attracts dismissal. As such, let us properly execute our mandate by paying particular attention on the need to combat all acts of misdemeanour, that include bribery, unfair competition, conflicts of interest, fraud, embezzlement, kickbacks and nepotism or favouritism, among other forms of corruption,” Chihobvu said.

“Corruption continues to wreak havoc in our communities, institutions and the nation at large. I urge you as ZPCS leadership to shun corruption at all costs by standing steadfast while performing your duties with integrity, transparency, accountability, professionalism and discipline,” he said.

The success and image of the ZPCS, Chihobvu said, was hinged on a corrupt-free staff and disciplined cadres.

Government was addressing transport challenges affecting officers on duty by availing vehicles to the department which include lorries and other utility vehicles.

“Given this level of capacitation, we therefore call for the will-power to deliver among members of staff and wean away from the cries on performance failures associated with transport and accommodation challenges,” said the ZPCS boss. It is now time to work, and let us work as expected of us, and deliver no matter the circumstances. ZPCS plays a key role in ensuring law and order in the society, protection of citizen’s rights and security which are essential aspects for the nation’s peace and stability and development,” he added.

A total of 85 correctional officers were promoted in Mashonaland West province, which includes 55 elevated from rank of assistant correctional officer to principal correctional officers (PCO), while 18 were promoted from PCO to chief correctional officers (CPO).

A further eight were promoted from CPO to superintendent, and four conferred ranks of chief superintendent