Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

No prisoner died from starvation: Mnangagwa

Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Emerson Mnangagwa has denied press reports suggesting that over 100 prisoners had died of starvation and various other ailments. 

Emerson Mnangagwa
Emerson Mnangagwa

On Wednesday the Minister was eager to clarify that the only deaths recorded in the country’s prison system were related to diseases.

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“From yesterday (Tuesday) the media was awash with misleading statistics. Nobody has died of hunger. We do have challenges of food but we are being supported by the GMB (Grain Marketing Board). People who have died since January have died of various ailments,” he said.

Mnangagwa accused the media of deliberately distorting the evidence given to a Parliamentary Portfolio Committee by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services, Deputy Commission Aggrey Huggins Machingauta.

Machingauta was quoted saying “Prisoners are dying because of hunger and some (HIV)-related diseases. The problem of hunger is compounded by the fact that we can only afford to give prisoners one meal instead of three square meals per day.”

Mnangagwa however took a different spin saying they were required to have three months’ supply of food for inmates but in some instances it went down to two weeks. He also said prisoners requiring ARVs were adequately supplied by the government.