MDC Alliance national vice chairperson, Kob Sikhaka has said if his party attain power, they will close Chikurubi Maximum prison.
Sikhala stayed at Chikurubi for over 4 weeks after he was arrested and charged with inciting public violence after he rallied the citizenry to participate in foiled 31 July anti-government protests that were being organised by opposition Transform Zimbabwe leader Jacob Ngarivhume.
Wiwa, as Sikhala is popularly known, is currently out on $50 000 bail. Speaking to New Zimbabwe, the Zengeza West legislator said:
The new order is going to close down this horrible and inhabitable infrastructure called Chikurubi Maximum Prison. We are going to make sure that Chikurubi is turned into a museum. It is not worth human habitation.
People inside are surviving on food not worth even fit to feed a dog. People there are starving. I have lost weight myself because of the diet I was getting inside.
Sikhala’s description of the prison matches that of award-winning journalist Hopewell Chin’ono with whom he shared prison cells.
The prison, like the rest of local prisons, is reported to be overpopulated when it lacks basic services including food, toilets and blankets.
Earlier this year, President Emmerson Mnangagwa extended a presidential pardon to many inmates in an endeavour to decongest prisons but the number has since ballooned again.
Health experts say local prisons are a health ticking time bomb particularly in the wake of the deadly and contagious coronavirus.
More: New Zimbabwe