The Zambia Correctional Service has disclosed that government has spent over K40 million to improve the welfare of inmates in the country.
Zambia Correctional Service Deputy Commissioner General, Bwalya Kuyomba says the commission has used the funds to among other things procure over forty thousand blankets and mattresses for inmates in correctional facilities.
He said the other money will also be used to procure bunk beds for all correctional facilities in the country.
Mr Kuyomba disclosed that the correctional service command is committed to providing inmates with the same quality that is given to the larger society.
The Deputy Commissioner said this when he paid a courtesy call on the provincial administration in Kasama today.
Mr Kuyomba is in the province for a working visit to familiarize himself with facilities as well as to appreciate the challenges that officers are facing.
Meanwhile, Mr Kuyomba has noted with concern that most facilities in the country are congested.
He said the correctional service command is however looking for alternatives of decongesting the facilities in open air farms.
“We want to enhance rehabilitation so that they are able to contribute to the development of the country once they are back in society,” he said.
The Deputy Commissioner General also disclosed that Northern Province will soon benefit from the second phase of the construction of housing units in the country.
And Northern Province Deputy Permanent Secretary, Lewis Mwape has thanked the Correctional Service for the various activities being undertaken by the service.
He cited developments in the agricultural sector which he said are contributing to the country’s food security.
Mr Mwape also called for the need to have pivot centers in the province in order to implement irrigation practices so that the agricultural sector is enhanced even more.
“This partnership is what we want to see as a province and country and as the provincial administration we are always ready to support such causes so that our friends who are inmates can also be comfortable in the facilities,” he said.
Mr Mwape added that most correctional facilities in the province were constructed in the colonial times hence the need to upgrade the infrastructure.
He also noted that some of the challenges of officers in the province include lack of housing units for the growing number of officers in the service and lack of proper infrastructure for female inmates.
“There is also a need for infrastructure in the new districts to avoid the movement of suspects from a district that has no court to the one that has as this is proving to be resource consuming.”