State to build $21m prisons


IN A move to decongest prisons, Government will soon sign a US$21.9 million contract with two firms for the construction of three new prisons in Mwembeshi and Mongu.
Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila, who is on the Copperbelt to check on the conditions of prisons, said in Ndola that Government has picked two firms to build the prisons under public private partnership (PPP).
He said it is Government’s responsibility to look after inmates as they have the right to good food and clean water.
“Because of congestion in prisons, Government has plans to construct new prisons in exchange for land through PPP’s arrangement. And as a Ministry, we have picked two companies. So once the Ministry of Justice finalises their work on contracts, we will be able to sign it so that contractors can come on site,” he said.
Mr Mwila said a prison will be built in Mwembeshi by Celtic Contractors Limited at a cost of US$9.2 million, with a capacity of 1,500 inmates.
He said the other unnamed firm will set up a 1,800 capacity prison at a cost of US$12 million.
Mr Mwila said Lusaka and Kamwala prisons will be moved to Mwembeshi where there is enough land, while the other prison will be constructed in Mongu.

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