An inmate at Chikurubi Maximum Prison (Chikurubi), Taurai Dodzo, has sued the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) over negligence to promote prisoners’ health and welfare.
Dodzo who is being represented by Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum claims that after the outbreak of waterborne diseases at the Harare correctional facility, authorities failed to take measures to protect inmates who were not ill.
In his application now before the High Court, Dodzo claims the prison has been hit by diarrhoea, hepatitis B and Tuberculosis outbreak a situation that has been worsened by continued unavailability of clean water. He said:
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The shortage of water has resulted in an outbreak of serious diseases including diarrhoea, hepatitis B and Tuberculosis. Regrettably, prison officials do not separate sick prisoners from the healthy ones.
Dodzo also cited ZPCS Commissioner-General Moses Chihobvu, Justice minister Ziyambi Ziyambi, Agriculture minister Anxious Masuka, Finance minister Mthuli Ncube and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission as respondents.
He wants the court to order the authorities to ensure that temporary measures which include the use of mobile water bowsers and isolation of ill prisoners are put in place to ensure the safety of inmates.
The prisoner also wants Ncube ordered to immediately release funds for supplementary daily water supplies to the jail.
Dodzo also wants the prison clinic to be fully stocked with all essential medicines and installed with requisite technology.
He echoed the remarks by journalist Hopewell Chin’ono that the prison is currently overpopulated with 2 000 inmates instead of 1 360.