Former principal director of State residences in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Douglas Tapfuma yesterday warns Zimbabweans to stay away from crime insisting that prison was not a safe place to be.
Douglas Tapfuma said this at Connemara Open Prison in Kwekwe.
Connemara is an Open Prison which provides inmates with a privilege of a half way home treatment and for prisoners to qualify they have to go through a thorough interview.
In an interview with journalists, Douglas Tapfuma emphasised that Zimbabweans who were out of prisons must try by all means to stay away from crime adding that it was not an easy task to be in prison.
“Let me be very clear and emphatic, prison is not a place to be l wouldn’t wish anyone whom l know be it a relative, friend or anybody to be in prison, it’s not a place to be that’s what l can say at the moment,” he said.
The 55 year old also advised youths to stay away from crime insisting that when they are jailed they will be associated with a lot of hard core criminals which will change them and negatively they will be absorbed in highly concentrated criminal systems of the prison.
“It’s not easy that’s why l said l wouldn’t wish anybody to be there because l witnessed a number of things with young men who initially come especially at Remand Prison with minor offenses and some of them are unlawful entry or any other crime offense but then they get exposed to hardcore criminals because there is a mixture of every kind of a criminal you can imagine.
“We have got multiple murders and armed robbers you can think of any crime they are all there so when the young people came whom l wish to say are not criminals but just want to say it will be youth exuberance that take them to prison but when they are exposed in prison they get spoiled,” he added.
However, Tapfuma denied to comment on his alleged crime of abuse of office adding that he was not able to comment anything because his appealed papers were still pending in courts.
“My letters are still pending in courts because l have appealed so probably we will not discuss much about the case to the merits and the demerits because it is still within the law courts,” said Tapfuma.
Other prominent figures who served at Connemara Open Prison in the past include first Zimbabwean President Canaan Banana, former warriors caretaker Joy Antipas and Zimbabwean educationalist Charles Nherera.