Abused prisoner to access treatment at private hospital after lawyers’ intervention

A PRISONER at Harare Central Prison will now access treatment at a
private hospital after Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service
(ZPCS) officials undertook to immediately release him under guard to
access medication after he was severely assaulted by prison guards in
August.

The family of Nyasha Ndangarazi, a prisoner serving jail time at
Harare Central Prison was forced to file an urgent chamber application
at the High Court on Monday 14 October 2019 seeking to compel ZPCS to
immediately facilitate the treatment of the inmate, whose health has
deteriorated after he sustained some injuries from severe assault by
prison guards and is now discharging blood when he urinates, an
indication of kidney problems.

In the application filed by Denford Halimani and Idirashe Chikomba of
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights on behalf of Charles Meda, a brother
to Ndangarazi, the human rights lawyers argued that ZPCS authorities
had disregarded directives by a prison doctor and another doctor at
Harare Central Hospital, who had examined Ndangarazi and recommended
that he be treated a private medical facility for urgent medical
treatment.

The lawyers charged that ZPCS officials had refused to release
Ndangarazi and had unjustifiably and unreasonably continued to raise
internal procedures as an excuse for their failure to act promptly and
thereby putting the life of the inmate as risk.

However, on Thursday 17 October 2019, ZPCS officials, who held a
meeting with Halimani and Chikomba, undertook to immediately allow
Ndangarazi to seek treatment at a private hospital. The undertaking by
ZPCS officials necessitated the withdrawal of an urgent chamber
application which had been filed in the High Court on Monday 14
October 2019 seeking to compel ZPCS to immediately facilitate the
treatment of Ndangarazi.
Ndangarazi’s family will furnish ZPCS with the name of the private
hospital and the name of the medical practitioners within Zimbabwe to
enable the prison authorities to accompany the inmate and make the
necessary security arrangements.