Inmates petition against prison congestion

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Prisoners demonstrating how there sleep in a room meant for 40 people but it has over 140

Prisoners at Solwezi Central Correctional center have petitioned the Justice and Legal sector reform commission over congestion in prisons.

The prisoners whose identities have been withheld said the structures at the correctional facility cannot support the ever growing population.

The Solwezi Central Correctional Centre presently has 381 prisoners despite the facility having capacity to only accommodate half the number of inmates.

The prisoners also complained of poor meals and that they sleep on the floor as there are no mattresses.

The inmates were presenting their petitions to the Legal and Justice Sector Reform Commission in Solwezi district during a prison visitation yesterday.

One of the inmates petitioned the commission to decentralize the Forensic department in the police service.

Another convict appealed to the commission to ensure that there is a presence of the legal aid during court sessions to assist vulnerable people.

Another petitioner said that cases take long to be taken to court especially cases that have been committed to the High Court citing himself as having been waiting for the past 18 months.

In a related development another petitioner bemoaned that his case in which he was accused of attempted murder was committed to the high court but has been in detention since 30th April 2016.

Others complained of Police being unprofessional in the discharge of their duty.

Chairing the sittings on behalf of the Commission at the prison grounds, one of the Commissioners Ernest Beele assured the petitioners that their submissions will be considered.

The commission also visited the female cells.The commission is today sitting in Solwezi district in North-western province before moving to Luapula province where public sittings shall commence on Tuesday, July 18, 2017.

31 COMMENTS

    • We are also petitioning againt inmates to stop robbing us and committing other crimes that destroy innocent people’s lives. Fair trade.

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    • I think there is need for new prisons to be build the prisoners have right to life let the government consider it in the next budget

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    • @afro HH very simplistic and uninformed view about prison and congestion! Prison is meant to rehabilitate offenders or persons accused of offending! However, some are completely innocent!

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  1. The only way to de-congest prisons is by people abiding by the law. Do not commit murder or attempt to murder. Do not steal, defile and most importantly do not race with the presidential motorcade.

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  2. Sad development indeed. Prisoners are normal people just like any other citizen. reflect on the number of crimes that you have gotten away with. some of the people serving jail sentences in zambia are much more innocent than a number of you reading this post.

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    • @kci you sound very childish.not every one who is in prison is a criminal.very soon you will also be arrested for loitering in the night with this state of emergency declared by your master Chakolwa Kadansa Lungu…

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    • @Mulenga, why should I be loitering in the night. This is exactly what I am talking about. Obey the law and you will stay out of prison.

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    • @kci Aw, you’re adorable.
      The population of inmates in our correctional facilities is high because of the high number of people waiting to be sentenced.There are over 3,000 remandees in prisons and most of these prisoners are people with minor offences.Our criminal justice system is failing to ensure speedy trials and appeals, and to make use of non-custodial alternatives.According to DEC stats over 15,000 people have been caged for non-violent drug offences in the past three years, mostly for cannabis.It is estimated that more than one in four inmates is incarcerated for cannabis offences. Those arrested for drugs are almost always poor and vulnerable Zambians who otherwise pose no threat to society.
      We could start decongesting the prisons by freeing all those poor chamba farmers…

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  3. its sad how pipo think that every inmate is a troublemaker. some are awaiting commital to the high court and as such they remain suspect with 50/50 chance of innocence but u stil say stop stealing as if u have convicted them already. zambians lets change the mindset

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  4. @ Nubian Princes. Can’t agree more. Should there be better conditions for a murderer in jail, security of society will be auctioned off to the lawless. I don’t know why such conditions are not shown on TV every news hour to act as a deterrent to would be criminals .But should a judge or lawyer corruptly subject an innocent man to such conditions, then let there be curse that his eyes in the sockets, his tongue in the mouth , his private parts in the trousers rot while he is standing.

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  5. Genuine complaints. Umulandu mume. ..you never know who’s next. .it could be you.

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  6. Government should consider charging fines for minor offences instead of keeping people like animals. There many criminals roaming freely with more serious offences, But they have money and can afford good lawyers. Minister kampyongo and lubinda should work in hand to end the suffering of our brothers and sisters in prisons.

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  7. How about our correctional tourist HH to sift to Solwezi since Mukobeko is not good for him

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  8. Congestion whether in church, at funerals or indeed in a correction center is not healthy at all and becomes a vehicle for spread of air bone illnesses. But what is more important is to change our attitudes so that fewer people go to jail. I say this because some have been to jail more than once as if it is something to be proud of.

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  9. It is not every case which some one has to confined within the prison yard to serve their sentences. The court system should encourage suspended sentences and community service for lighter offences. It can greatly help to de congest the prisons. Building more prisons is a long time venture.

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  10. Please just chose not to go there. Some countries prisons have been turned into museums no one goes there. Don’t build new ones let’s not go there, so that prison warders become farmers.

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  11. We need to differentiate between SERIOUS CRIMES AND LIGHT CRIMES!
    Crimes such as ****, aggravated robbery, murder, child defilement, trafficking in serious drugs such as heroine and cocaine should be categorised as serious crimes.
    White color crime, possession of light drugs such as marejuana in small quantities, minor theft such as shop lifting etc these should be classed as light crimes!
    The judiciary and the legal fraternity have thrived on the misery of Zambians by seeing that even light crimes are given custodial sentences! We are doing a diservice to Zambia when we sentence someone to 6months hard labour for contempt of court! Better to just put that person on community service for 6 months! Sad, sad, sad! And the prison service despite making so much money are not improving the…

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    • Ctn Sad, sad, sad! And the prison service despite making so much money are not improving the prisons!

      Let the judiciary search their souls! They have a moral and ethical obligation not just to pass sentence in accordance with what the penal code states but to consider the state of our prisons as they are also sending minor offences to their deaths. For this God will judge both the judiciary and the prison authority and God’s judgement is harsh and the most final judgement of all!

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  12. Underfive are you reading this? You will have to wait 18 months before your case is allocated. Get it in your thick head right now, you are not special, you are same as those prisoners so behave.
    Okay **********, you have read for yourself.

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    • flag Mwebena Zambia mwaliwama, nomba pantu mukonkuluda, chakuti mwipushe elo mwishibe, ichikulu mwaikovinsa

      Peace be still.

      Viva upnd.

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  13. So if a UPNDonkey knows the prison conditions why should he burn markets and Zesco pylons? Just lock them up and let them sleep in piles three deep.

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