Arron Nyamayaro, H-Metro Reporter
TWO Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service officers who tested positive for Covid-19 positive are alleged to have illegally crossed the border to neighbouring countries.
ZPCS Commissioner General Paradzai Zimondi disclosed this yesterday on the sidelines of a donation of items meant to fight against Covid-19 by Muslim Community at Harare Remand Prison.
“It is disturbing to note that some of our prison officers expected to correct and safeguard inmates are reported to have crossed borders illegally,” said Comm-Gen Zimondi.
“I am urging prison officers to discharge their duties in a professional manner and be law abiding and I do not expect prison officers to jump borders to our neighbouring countries.
“The Government has set measures to curb the spreading of Covid-19 and as ZPCS we are working hard to make sure the pandemic does not spread into our over populated prisons with limited resources.
“It is so disturbing to note that the prison officers are now being counted among Covid-19 positive cases because of their failure to be law abiding officers,” he said.
ZPCS fears are an increase of suspects and convicted offenders from the courts since their isolation space are limited and those who tested potive have been isolated from others while the officers are on isolation at their homes.
He said ZPCS has recorded its first cases of Covid-19 in two of its Correctional facilities namely Beitbridge and Plumtree.
“As the ZPCS, our officers and inmates are at high risk of contracting the virus through new admissions hence we have to scale up our efforts to screen, isolate and put in place mechanisms to coordinate with other key stakeholders to implement the possible best practices in the fight against Covid-19,” said Comm-Gen Zimondi.
“Risk management, hand washing points, fumigation exercises and response guidelines are being undertaken in our institutions across the country but more PPE is still required for frontline staff.
“The donation from Muslim Community is therefore highly commended as they have taken it upon themselves to complement Government efforts to fight the Corona Virus scourge,” he said assuring that the donated goods will be rightfully utilized and improve health care system.
Khuliq Abdullah and Siraaj Patel handed over items on behalf of Muslim Community that included plastic bins, plastic plates, yellow fleece blankets, wheel barrows, plastic water pipes, pvc pipes, hosepipes, assorted medicine, boom paste washing soap, red and white cotton wool jerseys among other items.