Stop Prisons From Becoming COVID-19 Hotspots.

Pauline Chateuka

MDC Alliance Spokesperson Fadzai Mahere has lamented the deplorable state of Zimbabwe prisons. Mahere was on the 18th of January released on RTGS10000 bail after spending seven days at Chikurubi Prison.

After spending a week at Chikurubi before being granted bail by the courts, Fadzayi shared that she had tested positive for COVID-19, despite her staying in an isolation cell at Chikurubi prison.

Advocate Fadzayi Mahere

“Despite having been in an “isolation cell” and the “quarantine section” at Chikurubi Maximum Prison, I have tested positive for COVID-19, following seven days of pre-trial incarceration”, revealed Mahere

Female Prisoners Support Trust is also urging government to take responsibility and provide inmates with adquate PPEs to curb the spread of COVID-19 in prisons.

“As FEMPRIST we are appealing to the government to provide inmates with adquate resources to prevent them from the deadly virus.We also encourage inmates to be very cautious because COVID-19 is real.” said Beauty Chagadama FEMPRIST programmes officer.

Mahere chose to share her results to draw attention to the deplorable state of Zimbabwe’s prison conditions and the very real threat faced by inmates at these facilities.

“My present focus is a return to good health but my heart breaks for the many inmates who remain at the prisons. In this moment, I pray that my experiences spur us into action for those who society has tucked away in silence and mostly forgotten. They don’t even have the most basic need – running water. This is before we look at soap, sanitizer, clean masks and proper facilities to enable social distancing”, said Mahere

As of 19 January 2020 Zimbabwe has recorded 783 new cases and 825 deaths,while the number of cumulative cases is now 28 675 with 18110 recoveries.

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