The Zambia Correctional Service says the country’s female inmate population is composed of some highly talented women serving in various correctional facilities.
Zambia Correctional Service Lusaka Female Correctional Facility Deputy Officer in Charge Mary Filinga observed that the women behind bars are able to apply their talents in various ways while in confinement.
Ms. Filinga said the Correctional Service has started offering skills training for female inmates in areas such as brick laying and plastering and tailoring, design and cutting.
She said the service is also offering skills upgrades in general agriculture training as a way of preparing them for life after serving their sentences.
Ms. Filinga has since appealed for support from members of the public to help Lusaka Female Correctional Facility acquire machinery and training materials.
She was speaking at Lusaka Female Correctional Facility when Zamtel donated 2, 400 packs of sanitary towels and 180 tablets of bath soaps to the female inmates ahead of this year’s International Women’s Day commemoration.
And Zamtel Chief Human Resources and Administration Officer Betty Sikana commended the Zambian government through the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Zambia Correctional Service for the efforts they are making to implement prison reforms.
Mrs. Sikana said these efforts will go a long way in transforming the country’s detention facilities into reformatory centers.
She said Zamtel staff donated the funds used to procure the items as a way of showing the inmates that society has not forgotten them.
Its common knowledge that our correctional facilities today are faced with a myriad of challenges. The government alone cannot afford to meet the ever increasing demands in our correctional facilities,” Mrs. Sikana said.
“We are aware that Zambia’s inmate population countrywide which stands in excess of 21,000 requires concerted efforts from partners in order to manage these challenges. Lusaka Central Correctional facility alone has well over 1,200 inmates with around 162 of these being female. The challenges the correctional facilities face therefore require a paradigm shift and that is why we take cognizant of the efforts the government is making in decongesting the prisons,” she said.
“As Zamtel we have today, responded to one of the many challenges that the female inmates are faced with and that is the lack of sanitary towels. We call upon other corporates and non -governmental organizations to take a keen interest and assist the government in bridging some of the gaps that have been identified in our correctional facilities,” she said.