Bindura (Nehanda Guardian-New Ziana) – The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) has no offer letters for three farms on which some of its prisons are located in Mashonaland Central, a senior official with the service has said.
Addressing the service’s advisory board members in Bindura recently, Senior Assistant Commissioner Kenny Ndebele, Officer Commanding Mashonaland Central, said the pace at which the lands office is moving towards processing the offer letters is not in tandem with the prisons’ expectations.
“We are still pursuing the issue of offer letters for Guruve (Maidavale), Mt Darwin (Thornhill) and Kingston Prison Farms.The pace at which the lands office is processing our issue is not to our expectation, it’s not a national issue, but a provincial office issue,” the visibly angry Snr A/Comm said.
ZPCS has five prisons in Mashonaland Central province, namely Mazowe, Bindura, Pednor, Guruve and Mt Darwin.
Out of these five prisons, only Bindura, Pednor and Mazowe Prisons have offer letters for farms at which they are located.
However, at Pednor Farm, the prisons service has been told to vacate to Kingston Farm to pave way for the construction of Bindura Dam.
“But we do not have the offer letter to that farm,” Ass Comm Ndebele said.
Combined, Pednor, Maidavale, Thornhill, Kingston and Mazowe Farms have nearly 1500ha of arable land.
The commanding officer said as per their thrust, namely to rehabilitate convicts, if they had the offer letters at the farm, they would have started some viable projects to combat food shortages in prisons and empower inmates with farming skills.
“We are therefore appealing to the board to facilitate the availability of the offer letters, so that we can achieve our full potential as ZPCS,” he pleaded.
The advisory board is chaired by Dr. Goodson Murinye, deputized by senior agronomist Craig Irvine.
Other members include UNICAF Vice Chancellor Professor Cuthbert Katsvanga, Prophet John Moyounotsva, Dr Beauty Basile and journalists, Hector Murombedzi and Marsha Sengwe.
Besides prisons failing to get offer letters on time, a number of individual farmers are also battling for theirs.
Those who spoke to Nehanda Guardian said lack of these letters derails their efforts to fully use their given lands on security grounds.
Nehanda Guardian-New Ziana