Senior Assistant Commissioner and Officer Commanding of Harare Metropolitan Province Alvord Gapare says the presidential amnesty initiative will reduce Covid -19 infection and overpopulation in prisons.
Commissioner Gapare said this yesterday at Chikurubi Prisons where almost 300 prisoners were released through the presidential amnesty programme.
Addressing Journalists Senior Asstistant Commissioner Officer Gapare said that this presidential amnesty objective will go a long way in reducing overpopulation in prisons insisting that it will also operate as a preventive measure against the Covid 19 infections in prisons.
“The amnesty will go a long way in reducing our prison population and that obviously means a reduction in the expenditure part of the prisons and also in terms of the Covid 19 pandemic it’s a very very huge task to us and the prisoners themselves. ” He said.
The inmates that were released in Harare Metropolitan Province include 139 male prisoners from Chikurubi male Prisons and 11 from Chikurubi Female Prisons while at Harare Central Prisons they released 97 prisoners and also 17 inmates who were saving life sentences.
More so, Officer Gapare reiterated that they recorded Covid 19 infections in prisons but however of the 173 infected inmates all of them recovered except the unfortunate incident at Harare Central Prisons where he said they recorded one death.
He also added that for now they don’t have any active cases of Covid -19 infections in prisons.
“We have some positive cases in Harare Metropolitan Province and l think they added up to 173 if l am not mistaken and the fortunate part is that we had not recorded any deaths at Chikurubi, we had no deaths at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, Chikurubi Farm Prison and Chikurubi Female Prisons and unfortunately we recorded 0ne death at Harare Central Prisons but as we speak we don’t have any active cases of Covid -19 in prisons.” He said.
Furthermore, Dendera kings musician Sulumani Chimbetu who is also the ZPCS Brand Ambassador urged the inmates to stay away from crime when they engage with the community as a way to avoid prison for the second time adding that the cell was a place where the prisoners were taught a lot of things to become better citizens when they are out of prisons.
“l am happy about the amnesty granted, l urge these inmates to stay away from crime so that they wont return to prison. The prison is not a place where inmates are treated as prisoners but it’s a place where they are rehabilitated for them to provide positive outcomes when they return to the community and we don’t expect these inmates to come here again.” said Sulumani.
Meanwhile Senior Assistant Commissioner Alvord Gapare proposed that Harare Metropolitan Province may release around 400 inmates through the presidential amnesty programme.
Senior Assistant Commissioner Gapare was also accompanied by the Chief Correctional Officer[CCO] Solomon Mutamba, Principal Correctional Officer [PCO] Peter Chaparanganda and former Chikurubi Maximum Prison inmate James Kawara who is now the Director and founder of Prodigal Sons And Daughters Of Zimbabwe.