An official at the ICRC in Harare told VOP that his organisation was informed that 48 litres of cooking oil that formed part of the 1000 litres of cooking oil donated by the ICRC last month could not be accounted for by two prison officers at their offices. The cooking oil was donated for prisoners’ meals at Harare Remand prison and Chikurubi Maximum prison. The two officers are still being questioned by the internal disciplinary committee over the missing cooking oil.
“We were informed by ZPS officials that 48 litres of cooking oil were stolen by two officers at their premises. They have assured us that they will investigate the issue for the 48 litres of cooking oil to be fully accounted for. We were disturbed that someone steals cooking oil at a time when we were helping prisoners to have a better diet,” a senior official from the ICRC said on condition of anonymity.
He said the two ZPS officials have been identified as one Hedengwe and Muzirecho.
Zimbabwe prisons have been facing food shortages in the past years as government has been failing to feed its prisoners resulting in hundreds of prisoners dying in jail. Prisoners suffered from such diseases as pellagra.
The ZPS has been denying reports that were being reported in several media houses but did not deny food was not enough for prisoners.
A clip shown on Cable News Network (CNN) in 2008 showed prisoners in a Zimbabwe jail succumbing to diseases such as Tuberculosis (TB) and that some prisoners were eating rats to survive. And if food was available the prisoners were served with a small portion on a thick mealie-meal porridge served with salt and water. The ZPS and government have rubbished the footage.