MORE than 200 inmates have been empowered in a programme being undertaken by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) to help in their rehabilitation and integration back into society.
The programme has seen scores of several inmates graduating with different skills, including upholstery, carpentry, motor mechanic, book binding, sewing, bee keeping, poultry production, rabbit production, aquaculture, cattle ranching, sheep and goats production and pig production under the guidance of qualified correctional officers.
Speaking during the graduation of over 200 inmates in piggery on Friday, ZPCS Deputy Officer Commanding Harare Metropolitan Province, Assistant Commissioner George Mutimbanyoka, said they have transformed into a correctional organisation which places priority on rehabilitation of inmates for their successful reintegration into society as law abiding citizens.
The piggery workshop, which started on January 15 to February 1, was facilitated Nicholas Karikoga of Fulcrum Pig Production and Consultancy.
“The thrust is to restore hope to the inmates through imparting knowledge and skills to inmates for their survival and the socio – economic development of Zimbabwe,.
“With this in mind, and guided by the constitutional mandate of ZPCS and vision of the Commissioner General, ZPCS Harare Metropolitan Province then planned to equip inmates with knowledge about piggery.
“The programme covered pig breeds, breeding and genetics, selection of breeding stock, housing, health and diseases, marketing and economics and records.
“The participants received certificates of attendance and this is in line with the President’s mantra of leaving no place and no one behind, the workshop comprised of correctional officers, inmates and members of the community.
“ZPCS initiatives include building brigades where Correctional officers and inmates combine to construct organisation houses and for members of the society,” he said.
Karikoga facilitated the same programme in Manicaland province before he approached ZPCS Harare Metropolitan Province authorities.
“This is a stepping stone and as Fulcrum Pig Production and Consultancy we will be working with ZPCS to have a long-term relationship and will cascade to other provinces and reach out to all inmates.
“We have been doing this in Manicaland Province and now we are in Harare and efforts are underway to take it throughout the country. It is my passion to help these inmates get equipped as I was once there at some point.
“It is also my hope that we have the support of other successful entrepreneurs out there,” he said.