By NANCY MWAPE
GOVERNMENT has this year allocated over K20 million for the rehabilitation and construction of new prisons in Monze, Kalabo and Luwingu.
Commissioner of prisons Percy Chato told journalists on Wednesday that construction of new prisons has reached an advanced stage and Luwingu Prison is expected to be opened at the month-end.
Mr Chato also said construction of Kalabo and Monze Prisons is advanced.
â€œThe prisons in Monze and Kalabo are 90 percent complete. What will delay the opening of Monze prison is the issue of office space.
â€œFor Luwingu prison, the date for opening has been set, as soon as the Minister of Home Affairs is available, the new Luwingu prison will be commissioned,â€ Mr Chato said.
He said the prisons under construction are medium security with capacity of less than 200 inmates.
Mr Chato said the new prison facilities will help to reduce congestion and to provide a human face in the treatment of inmates.
â€œOld Luwingu Prison can be described as a dungeon but with the new prison, there is significant improvement,â€ he said.
Meanwhile, the Zambia Prisons Service has acquired 3,800 hectares of land at Nansanga farm block in Serenje for farming purposes.
Mr Chato said Government allocated K22 million to the Zambia Prisons Service this year for prison farm expansion programmes.
He said the funds will help to expand major prison farms.
Mr Chato said the Zambia Prisons Service expects to harvest over 80 tonnes of maize.
â€œWe are glad that Government has this year injected K22 million in farm expansion. Most of the money will go towards farm inputs,â€ he said.
Mr Chato also the Zambia Prisons Services will next month commission two centre pivot irrigation systems at Chongwe prison farm.
By NANCY MWAPE