By Patrick Chitumba
The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has been failing to take remand prisoners to Gweru Magistrates’ Court amid indications that they are facing challenges with accessing fuel.
Remand prisoners are brought from Whawha prison which is about 30km from Gweru along Mvuma road.
Because of the unavailability of a prison truck, last week on Thursday ZPCS officers were forced to use a private vehicle to take the officer-in-charge of CID Gweru, Detective Inspector Leonard Gwandu who was sentenced to three years in prison for criminal abuse of office to Whawha prison.
Gwandu will however serve an effective two years in jail after one year was suspended on condition of good behaviour after he was convicted for releasing to a local businessman a vehicle stolen from South Africa that was being held as an exhibit.
The failure by ZPCS to bring prisoners to court has forced magistrates to postpone matters and courts ended up dealing only with cases of suspects coming straight from police cells and those on bail.
Court officials in Gweru said they were not handling remand cases from Whawha prison since the truck had no fuel.
ZPCS national spokesperson Superintendent Meya Khanyezi confirmed the development saying they were working on rectifying it.
“It’s only in the Midlands and we are working on addressing the problem,” she said. The Chronicle