Prisons Defy Court, Demand Chin’ono, Ngarivhume Food Purchased Online

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By Staff Reporter

PRISON officers Saturday denied journalist Hopewell Chin’ono and Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume access to warm food from outside demanding their food should be purchased online and from “reputable suppliers”.

The decision was in defiance of a High Court judgment the incarcerated duo should receive warm food from their relatives or lawyers according to the Prisons Act.

The two were arrested last month on charges of inciting public violence and are being held at the Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison.

However, last week, they filed an urgent application at the High Court seeking an order for Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) officers to allow them to meet their lawyers in private, have social visits, access to warm clothing and food.

The application was granted by Justice Jester Charewa Friday.

On Saturday, lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa and Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) director Roselyn Hanzi visited the two in prison.

According to ZLHR, the lawyers managed to interact in private with their clients, but the inmates were denied food from outside prison.

“Beatrice Mtetwa and Rose Hanzi were finally allowed access to Hopewell Chin’ono and Jacob Ngarivhume in private. This private consultation was after lawyers insisted on compliance with the court order and the ZPCS officers consulted their superiors,” ZLHR said in a statement.

“Although social visits were allowed, Chin’ono and Ngarivhume were denied access to warm food. Lawyers were advised that the administrative measures did not allow the two to access food that is not purchased online from ‘reputable sources’.”

Since their arrest, the two have been relying on water and biscuits as their jailers insist they would not have access to warm food from outside the prison for administrative reasons.