By Arron Nyamayaro
FIFTEEN Mazowe Farm Prison inmates are rubbing shoulders with Mazowe High School students sitting for Ordinary Level examinations, a senior Correctional Officer has said.
Officer in charge of Mazowe Prison, Superintendent Francis Makonese said through the support from their provincial office, they have managed to register an Examination Centre with ZMSEC and their inmates are now able to sit for their Grade Seven, O’Level and A Level examinations.
He said this in his speech at the Africa Prison Day celebration held at Mazowe Farm Prison on Saturday.
“We are celebrating this day under the African Correctional Service Association (ACSA) theme ‘Deepening Reforms in African Prisons, a Critical Objective’,” said Supt Makonese.
“Rehabilitation is key to deepening reforms in prisons and it is therefore imperative that Mazowe Prison embarks on rehabilitation programmes that seek to empower, restore the lost functioning ability among inmates and make them law abiding citizens who are ready to contribute meaningfully towards the development of their community and country.
“We hope to produce lawyers, doctors and teachers through our educational programmes.
“This year we have registered 15 candidates who are currently sitting for ‘O’ level examinations.
“Allow me to express my sincere gratitude to our neighbour Mawzowe Boys High School who are assisting us on how to conduct the examinations as our centre is in its infancy,” said Supt Makonese.
He appealed to all civic and faith based organisations, the corporate world and stakeholders as well as some individual persons and the whole community at large that we are open for collaborative engagements that aim to improve the welfare of our offenders as well as fight stigma that is normally associated with imprisonment.
Supt Makonese said Mazowe Farm Prison’s core business is farming and their activities have created a fertile ground on which meaningful rehabilitation can take place as most inmates partake in them not only to produce enough for commercial purposes but with a primary view to gain relevant life survival skills for their sustainable livelihoods.
He said the development impacts positively on inmates, families and the country’s socio-economic growth.
Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Service chief staff officer of Mashonaland Central province Rutendo Mandinyanya graced the celebrations that saw some inmates from Bindura meeting their families.
Faheem Somanja, Mazowe Boys High School and Fireforce Band provided entertainment. H-Metro