Zimbabwe Prison Services is appealing to the government for a supplementary budget to ease the strained resources for the welfare of prisoners.
Speaking to bhizimusi.com at a side interview during a visit to Chikurubi Maximum Prison by thematic committee on HIV, Chief Supretendant and Chief Accountant at ZPS, P. Chigawesi said the policy shifts by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) which resulted in the RTGS local currency losing value to the US Dollar increased the parastatal’s budget deficit.
“We bid for US$225 million and then we were allocated US$132 million that was approximately 59% to 60%… So that leads to a 40% deficit from what we require,” Chigawesi said (sic)
“In addition to that, we budgeted our requirements in terms of US Dollars in 2018 unfortunately the policy changes introduced the RTGS which is currently being rated at 1:5 bond with the prevailing bank rates that also increases the budget gap of what we were supposed to acquire.”
The chief accountant also said the current price hikes are impacting negatively to ZPS operations.
“Consider when you had budgeted fuel to the tune of $1,6 million, with the price increase, our requirement will be short to over $5 million, so there is more need to bridge the gap between what we budgeted for and what the prevailing market is asking for,” Chigawesi explained.
“Presently we don’t have any policy pertaining to what to do in terms of bridging the gap but we are looking forward to a supplementary budget from the Ministry of Finance so that we can cover the gap.”
“It is just our hope, but I am not sure whether there will be a supplementary budget to that effect.”
ZPS authorities and prisoners are in short of clothing, food, medical facilities transport facilities, ambulances and sanitary wears for female inmates.
The prisoners, however, complained to the parliamentary members that visited Chikurubi Maximum Prison about corruption within the judiciary system and urged the parliamentarians to solve the issue.
Parliamentarians, in response to the ZPS authorities and prisoners’ pleas, promised to raise such issues in Parliament.