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State committed to reintegration of prisoners, says Inonge

ACTING President Inonge Wina inspecting a quarter guard on arrival at the Zambia Prisons Staff Training School in Kabwe yesterday. - PICTURE: KALUNGA MUSONDA

KELVIN CHONGO and KALUNGA MUSONDA, Mukobeko
GOVERNMENT is committed to putting up appropriate structures needed to facilitate effective rehabilitation and re-integration of prisoners, Acting President Inonge Wina has said.
Mrs Wina said Africa Correctional Services Associations (ACSC) should take the lead in urging Governments to give correctional systems needed to support development.
Mrs Wina, who is Republican Vice-President, said this during the recruit pass-out and commemoration of the African Correctional and Prisons Day in Kabwe yesterday.
“The ACSA should champion development of correctional systems in Africa and, where possible, establish links with African Union,” Mrs Wina said.
She also said the ACSA should adopt some of the best practices to usher in a new era in the development of correctional systems in Africa.
Mrs Wina hailed the Zambia Prisons Service for the immense efforts it has put in place over the years to increase agriculture production.
She also commended ZPS for re-aligning the operations of the service in line with its mission statement.
“I wish to commend the training college command for successfully conducting training of the 70 officers who passed out yesterday,” Mr Wina said.
Mrs Wina said it is not an easy job to transform a civilian into a military personnel.
She also thanked the visiting commissioner general for Namibia Correctional Service Raphael Hamunyela and commissioner of Botswana Prisons Service Silas Motlalegkosi for finding time to come and witness the function.
Mrs Wina reiterated that Government is alive to the fact that the service is under-staffed and that there is need to boost its staff levels.
Mrs Wina said the continued increase of inmates’ population and ever growing spectrum of the services of ZPS to the inmates have contributed hugely to the shortage of staff.
Earlier, ZPS commissioner general Percy Chato said the recruits passing out signify government’s resolve to increase the prison staff establishment from the current 2,569 to 5,000 in the period of five years.
“Our job is no longer about guarding prisoners but providing treatment programmes and after-care services to ensure rehabilitation and successful re-integration of prisoners into society. Our wish is to get approval as soon as possible to recruit 600 prison officers before the end of the year,” Mr Chato said.
Mr Chato thanked Government for its commitment to improve and put the ZPS on a developmental path providing humane and quality correctional services.
And commanding officer at the prison staff training college Jacob Zulu said the training of recruits who passed out yesterday included 18 females and 55 males.
Mr Zulu said the recruits have been trained in health, agricultural engineering and heavy machine operation.
The occasion was witnessed by hundreds of Kabwe residents, parents and family members of the passing out recruits.


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