…As Church of Christ donates solar powered boreholes to ZPCS
THE Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) is an evolving professional institution and a profession that you as correctional officers must uphold and be proud of, the ZPCS Commissioner-General Moses Chihobvu has said.
Reading a speech on behalf of the ZPCS Commissioner General Moses Chihobvu, the ZPCS Officer Commanding Manicaland Province Assistant Commissioner Spetosomusa Chinobva urged correctional officers to be proud of their profession, which she called an important, active career that is creditable. This was said last week Tuesday during a conferment of badges of rank ceremony to commissioned officers in Manicaland. The event held in Mutare at the ZPCS provincial headquarters was running simultaneously in all administrative provinces countrywide.
“It’s not just about guarding convicted inmates, this is a calling and a profession that you should be proud of. So, you should be proud to be identified as a correctional officer. You are as good as a doctor, a lawyer, an accountant,” he said.
A total of 98 commissioned and non-commissioned correctional officers were promoted in Manicaland. The highest ranking promotion was of the Deputy Officer Commanding Manicaland Province Assistant Commissioner Gilbert Marange who was promoted to Commissioner. Among the commissioned officers one (1) officer was promoted from Chief Superintendent to Assistant Commissioner, four (4) from Superintendent to Chief Superintendent (C/Supt), nine (9) from Chief Correctional Officer (CCO) to Superintendent and 25 from Principal Correctional Officer (PCO) to CCO. 58 non- commissioned officers were promoted from Assistant Principal Correctional Officer (APCO) to PCO. Among the 98 correctional officers promoted in Manicaland, 14 were women. Nationally 2067 non-commissioned officers and 1169 commissioned officers were promoted, of which among the commissioned officers 281 were women.
The Comm-Gen said the correctional service institution will continue to adhere to its policy of zero tolerance towards indiscipline and laziness and to shun corruption.
“Accordingly you must lead by example and ensure that there is zero tolerance to indiscipline and laziness so that you earn a model status. I am therefore hopeful that this conferment will encourage and inspire other members within the service to continue carrying out their duties diligently and widen their breath of loyalty…Corruption is a cancer that reverses developmental efforts of the nation and as ZPCS those who are caught on the wrong side of the law will face justified disciplinary action which usually attracts dismissal,” he said
He also urged all officers to be constructive and innovative to turn around the fortunes of the organization and its performance towards service delivery. Adding that as ZPCS every correctional officer should appreciate the importance of the National Development Strategy 1 (NDS1) blueprint which he said seeks to chart the new transformative and inclusive development agenda towards achieving a prosperous ‘national’ vision.
“This is in consistence with the collective aspirations and determination of our nation’s socio-economic aspirations that are riding on the successes of the Transitional Stabilisation Programme (2018-2020) coupled with the inception of the five year National Development Strategy (NDS1), which will run from 2021 to 2025. As ZPCS we are expected to explicitly make our contributions towards national security and development that guarantees improved justice service delivery.”
Comm-Gen Chihobvu said Government has promised to improve the organisation’s transport challenges by availing new vehicles but urged all departments to remain innovative by implementing productive projects that will generate income for self-sustenance.
“However, for the organization to achieve such milestones there is need for unity of purpose and oneness in all our endeavours. Let us therefore stand united and support each other for the betterment of the nation,” added the Comm-Gen.
On the other hand, on the same day, the Minister of State for Manicaland Provincial Affairs and Devolution Nokhuthula Matsikenyeri commissioned a solar powered borehole at Mutare Farm Prison donated by Church of Christ.
Minister Matsikenyeri applauded the initiative by the church, which decided to not only concentrate on the spiritual growth of inmates but their physical well-being as well. She said the eco-friendly solar powered borehole would ensure the availability of fresh, nutritious food for inmates as well as income for the prison through the sale of surplus produce.
“This will indeed set a healthy competitive tone for ZPCS stations to produce and presumably earn enough to cover all their petty needs thereby easing fiscal pressure,” said the resident Minister.
She commended ZPCS for embracing the Public and Private Partnership (PPP) model that is being encouraged by Government to mitigate the impact of economic woes that have stalled development in the wake of fiscal constraints. Minister Matsikenyeri added that the rehabilitation and reintegration efforts of the ZPCS were incalculable and much needed to buttress the success of developmental efforts by Government.
“I am told that aside from the skills training programmes in prisons workshops, inmates are also imparted with agricultural skills. Such skills impartation is reducing the rate of recidivism, and we are glad to see the church, in this case Church of Christ, helping to achieve this.”
The director of Church of Christ Mutare School of Preaching, Nhamo Marunga, said they have been involved in prison ministry for inmates for a long time and are motivated by the bible scripture in Mathew chapter 25 that says, “I was in prison but you did not visit me.” He said their constant visit to the prisons opened their eyes for other needs which is why they donated the solar powered borehole to help increase the production at the farm prison and complement the prison’s agri-produce skills training rehabilitation programmes.
“We saw that physical rehabilitation programmes being done by ZPCS are not enough without touching the soul and spirit of inmates. True correction will come after repentance, forgiveness and being reunited with your family using Christian values. So through our World Bible School programme we give inmates a series of bible lessons and give them a certificate. So we are proud to be complementing Government efforts to rehabilitate inmates for their reintegration into society as changed people after completing their sentences,” said Marunga.
Although the World Bible School programme by Church of Christ runs in all the prisons countrywide, Marunga said they donated boreholes to Mutare Farm Prison, Mutare Remand Prison, Little Kraal Prison (Nyazura) and Mutoko Prison only, which will be their pilot projects.