In a bid to address the challenges in the area of corrections particularly as it relates to community safety and economic development, Rwanda and Zambia’s Correctional Services have agreed to share best practices and enhance their cooperation.
Zambia Correctional Services (ZCS) Commissioner General Frederick Chilukutu, who is leading a visiting delegation to Rwanda for six days observed that as both institutions mull strengthening bilateral relations.
According to Chilukutu, who was received by Rwandan counterpart Juvenal Marizamundu, strong bilateral relationship dates back to 2020 when both Services signed a deal on cooperation in the area of corrections as well as an agreement on the transfer of convicted persons.
“You may wish to know that, as African Correctional Services, we have a joint resolve to rise above the challenge of overcrowding in prison facilities which continue to constrain the capacity of our Services to deliver on their mandates,” he said.
“In this regard, most Correctional Services in Africa continue to grapple with issues such as increase in incarceration and recidivism, inadequate sanitation and health as well as provision of treatment programs, social reintegration and extension services to inmates,” he added.
Joint Farm Venture
In the area of agriculture, according to the proposal, the Zambia Correctional Service has over 1440 hectares of virgin land earmarked for center pivot irrigation.
The Service has over 50,000 hectares of uncleared arable land while 7,500 hectares cleared land is readily available for agricultural production, dotted around the country with abundant water bodies for irrigation.
“In this regard, the Zambia Correctional Service is inviting Rwanda Correctional Service to partner and come up with a joint farm venture where the Zambia Correctional would provide arable land while Rwanda Correctional Service would provide funds for capitalisation and operationalisation of the joint farm project.”
“Further, I wish to propose the constitution of a joint technical committee to look at the issue in detail and come up with a draft memorandum of understanding which would guide the setting up of the joint farm venture. We look forward to nominating a technical team of officers to join their Zambian counterparts to commence preparations to initiate the joint farm venture.”
Equally important, he said, the two nations can share best practices in the area of science and application of technology to ensure competitive or cost effective management of correctional facilities.
This, Chilukutu said, would lessen pressure on the national treasuries and free resources for development and investment in other sectors.
“In this regard the Zambia Correctional Service is elated to learn that correctional facilities in Rwanda use electricity generated from the biogas plants. We therefore, request the Rwanda Correctional Service for technical support to assist us in assessing the feasibility to replicate the use of biogas technology in Zambia Correctional Service facilities.”
He also commended RCS for a guided tour, where the delegation will be exposed to the practical application of biogas for heating and lighting.
Inmates Management System (IMS)
Meanwhile, he said that the Zambia Correctional Service is making strides in operationalizing an advanced Inmates Management System following the commissioning of Zambia’s Home Affairs Public Security System.
“It is gratifying to note that Rwanda Correctional Service has a fully operational Correctional Data Management System.”
“In this regard, we hope to continue sharing best practices in order to build capacity and improve on the information management which is critical in decision making. We remain open for collaboration in other areas of mutual interest which you may propose.”
Cooperation is key
On his part, RCS CG Marizamunda highlighted the need for cooperation in today’s world order.
“Undeniably, we need to share lessons together, address challenges together with a spirit of unity in our correctional services development.”
Pix: Juvenal Marizamunda, Rwanda Correctional Services Commissioner General, and his Zambia counterpart Frederick Chilukutu during a meeting in Kigali on November 28.