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More prisons coming – Mwila

MUKOBEKO MAXIMUM

LINDA NYONDO, Lusaka
CABINET has approved a public private partnership aimed at building more prisons countrywide, Minister of Home Affairs Davies Mwila has said.
Speaking in Lusaka yesterday when United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) regional representative Zhuldyz Akisheva paid a courtesy call on him, Mr Mwila said the new partnership is aimed at decongesting prisons.
“The process has started. Anytime from now, we will be able to pick investors who will help us,’’ he said.
Mr Mwila said two prisons have so far been opened in Mwembeshi and Kalabo.
He also said another prison would soon be opened in Monze.
Mr Mwila appealed to UNODC to help Zambia come up with isolation cells in maximum security prisons where convicts suffering from tuberculosis and other communicable diseases will be kept.
“We want to ensure that convicts who are suffering from TB are isolated from the rest of prisoners to prevent the disease from spreading,’’ he said.
Mr Mwila thanked UNODC for building a voluntary counselling and testing centre at Mukobeko Maximum Security Prison in Kabwe.
He said the infrastructure and equipment for the centre cost US$4 million.
Mr Mwila said Government has been working closely with UNODC to ensure that all programmes are implemented.
Ms Akisheva said incarcerating all offenders is not the answer to reforming them.
“There is need to revise legislation so that some people do not end up in prisons. The legislation should also cover access to legal aid,” she said.
Ms Akisheva said most prisoners do not have job opportunities when they are released after serving their terms because they are not accepted by society.
She said UNODC is impressed with President Lungu because he has shown commitment to ensuring that the welfare of prisoners is addressed.


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