General public advised against stigmatizing ex- inmates


The Zambia Correctional Service ( ZCS ) has advised the community and families to desist from stigmatizing ex-inmates saying doing so may cause further mental distress.

Deputy Commissioner General Bwalya Kuyomba says this is because acceptance is cardinal for successful re-integration into society and reducing re-victism.

Mr. Kuyomba said this on Friday at Katombora Reformatory School in Kazungula district when he graced this year’s World Mental Health day in the area.

“You will agree with me that the recent happenings in our communities relating to committing of heinous offences and suicide are classical examples of mental instability,” Mr. Kuyomba observed.

He called for concerted efforts in sensitizing the public on mental health challenges to avoid actions that may result in conflicting with the law.

Mr. Kuyomba however, noted that the road to comprehensive mental health for inmates and officers has not been without a number of challenge citing inadequate supply of medicines and non-availability of isolation facilities.

He added that others are inadequate rehabilitation activities for recovering patients, inadequate number of trained mental health staff as well as insufficient information on mental health among the general populace of inmates and officers among others.

“ Despite the highlighted challenges above, the Zambia Correctional Service remain resolute to promoting and protecting mental health patients as stipulated in the mental health act of 2019 and Mandela rules which call for access to health for all inmates, “ he said.

Speaking earlier, Kazungula District Health Director, Belita Zulu observed that for most people, when they hear the word mental health, what comes to their mind is picking papers on the street which is not the case because that is limiting one’ scope of understanding.

Dr. Zulu said mental health encompasses emotional, psychological as well as the social well-being of individuals.

She mentioned that when one is exposed to recurrent stress and trauma then the person is more likely to have mental illness.

This year’s mental health commemoration was held under the theme, “make mental health and well-being for all a global priority”.


  1. If you offered them support and skills then they wouldn’t be stigmatised. You have failed. Look at the changes we brought about under pf e.g. allowing inmates to vote

  2. Government leads in the stigmatization. They blacklist inmates from ever opening bank accounts, getting passports or the like for the rest of their lives. When a person has served their sentence, they must be given a clean leaf, a new start

  3. Do you remember how governments world over stigmatised against HIV-AIDS patients? It was shameful to be sick: such patients lost human rights, prone to public ridicule.

    It is believed that prisoners have no human (or universal) rights, as perpetuated by governments and general citizenries.
    A complete mindset change needed by all.

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