Zim prisoners use Bible pages as toilet paper

By Drum Digital
04 April 2015

Inmates of a troubled maximum security jail in Harare are using buckets for toilets and pages of the Bible for toilet paper, it was reported on Saturday.

Prisons’ spokesperson Elizabeth Banda appealed to relatives of those inside Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison to bring toilet roll for inmates, NewZimbabwe.com reported. Chikurubi was the scene of a riot over food last month in which five prisoners died.

Banda told NewZimbabwe.com: “We therefore appeal to relatives visiting inmates to at least help by bringing in some tissues as this will go a long way in helping both the inmates and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services in general."

The website said prisoners were only given one toilet roll each every two weeks "which is grossly inadequate".

A prison official told NewZimbabwe.com that prisoners were "tearing blankets and pages from Bibles to use as toilet paper," a claim which first surfaced 10 years ago. Most of the cells do not have toilets and inmates have to use buckets.

Zimbabwe authorities say last month's riot at Chikurubi was allegedly masterminded by a disgraced pastor called Robert Gumbura who is serving 40 years for rape.

Prisoners reportedly began by protesting the relish that was served with their sadza porridge. Families of Chikurubi inmates are reportedly also keen to bring clothes for their relatives because prison uniforms are badly torn and at times barely cover the prisoners.

However Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa says this is not allowed.

-Source: News24

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