THEME 2020:From Bars to Business: Building New Horizons

Welcome Remarks From The Commissioner General Of The Zimbabwe Prisons And Correctional Service

I sincerely welcome you all to the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) website. This is an interactive platform which gives an insight into the operations of the ZPCS. The organisation is constitutionally mandated to protect society from criminal elements through the incarceration and rehabilitation of convicted persons and others who are lawfully required to be detained and their reintegration into society. The bottom line being to incarcerate and rehabilitate offenders with the view to preparing them to live as productive and law abiding citizens within the society, and upon their discharge from prisons and correctional institutions.  In light of this mandate, may I state that the organization has profoundly transformed over the years. Most notably, following the promulgation of the new Constitution of Zimbabwe Amendment Act (No. 20) in 2013, the Department was rebranded from the Zimbabwe Prison Service to the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service which change speaks more to rehabilitation than retributive.

Through this platform, we therefore seek to give a clearer view of the thrust which we have since taken in managing our prisons and correctional facilities. The management focus is now heavily skewed towards rehabilitation rather than vengeance which was typical of the settler administration. As the ZPCS we understand that the road to prison begins in the community, and as such, we believe that our efforts to rehabilitate offenders would be futile if information does not flow effectively to and from our various publics. May I thus hasten to pay tribute to my predecessor, Major General (Retired) Paradzai Willings Zimondi whose vision resulted in the adoption of the ‘Open Door Policy.’ Opening doors to the community meant breaking the traditional concept of running closed institutions. This paradigm shift is premised on our conviction that the community and willing stakeholders should have opportunities to come forward and play a part in amplifying the ZPCS to successfully discharge its Constitutional Mandate. It is with this in mind that this website is envisaged to enhance communication between our organization and the different stakeholders.

The ZPCS values your support as stakeholders in whatever form as it goes a long way in informing our operations. It is against this backdrop that we encourage you to use this platform to engage us in a constructive way. We promise to take your suggestions seriously as they immensely contribute to the betterment of our programmes that are aimed at improving both the welfare of inmates and the management of our prisons and correctional facilities in general. We must however, in our views and opinions, always keep in mind that offenders come to prison as a punishment and not to be punished. I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to all those who have assisted us in realizing our goals through various support initiatives, materially or otherwise. It is our prayer that you will continue to provide your assistance as we continue to work towards the improvement of our facilities.

Yes, there is change of guardianship within the Department but let me rest assure you that I am really prepared to work with all people who wish to see the success of the ZPCS. As a Department, we will do that with much agility and professionalism as nurtured by my predecessor, General Zimondi. In this regard, the objective remains the same and we will thus carry on from where he left in pursuing offender rehabilitation with vigour thereby equipping inmates with various life survival skills in an effort to transform them into productive and law abiding citizens. Livelihood skills are key to offender survival upon release from our institutions. In that vein, emphasis is now placed much more on increased productivity within our prison farms and workshops anchored on the robust offender rehabilitation drive. All things being equal, the ZPCS has the capacity to sustain itself and contribute immensely to the national granary among other key economic development sectors, that is if well-funded. My commitment to take the torch and continue lighting towards the Department’s vision of ‘Becoming the Best Correctional Service Provider in the Region and Beyond by Year 2030’ remains part of my agenda and priority.  To this regard, all programmes and activities that would be undertaken by the Department would also be dovetailed to augment and promote the attainment of our country’s National Vision of ‘Becoming an Upper Middle Income Economy by Year 2030.’

In our contribution to a crime-free society through a Reduced Global Crime Rate, we strongly urge all Zimbabweans within and without our national borders to always remember that Crime Does Not Pay. We therefore urge all citizens of Zimbabwe to desist from committing crimes. The nation expends substantial amounts of resources from the fiscus to cater for the welfare of those incarcerated at the expense of other critical needs especially given this period where nation states are grappling with the global pandemic, Covid-19.

We hope that you will find this platform quite informative and interactive. We therefore, invite you to feel free to share with us your thoughts on how this platform can be improved.

I thank you!

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