Zimbabwe portfolio committee on justice legal and Parliamentary affairs visit to Ministry of defence and security on the 28th July 2022

The Secretary for Safety and Security Mr. Kago Ramokate, welcomed the Zimbabwe delegation on behalf of the Minister for Defence and Security- Honourable Thomas Kagiso Mmusi. The delegation was led by the Acting Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee, Honourable Dumizweli Mawite. Mr. Ramokate informed the delegation that, prior to the meeting, the ministry did host the Ambassador – Designate of Botswana to the Republic of Zimbabwe Ms Sarah Sithabile Molosiwa and also recently, did host the Commissioner โ€“ General Moses C.N. Chihobvu from the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service on a benchmarking exercise. This indeed showed a good sign of collaboration between the two countries.
The Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Mr. Stephen Tsheko stated the Botswana Police Service services and challenges.

With keen interest of the purpose of the visit, the Botswana Prison Service Deputy Commissioner Mr. Dikakanyo Mbulawa, alluded that the Prisons mandate was to provide safe custodial care and correction to offenders through effective rehabilitation and reintegration programs for the protection of society. To mention some of the prisonersโ€™ rights; prisoners has the right to appeal their cases, the right to health care services and the right to litigate when they feel aggrieved.

The offered programmes by Botswana Prison Service were geared towards treatment of offending behavior, skills transfer, psychosocial support services and education to facilitate reintegration. Skills transfer programmes include, industries, agriculture and construction. Psychosocial services encompassed psychology, social work and chaplaincy. The services provided encompassed assessment and classification, counselling, character moulding programmes and spiritual empowerment.

In an effort to enhance rehabilitation and reintegration programmes, the service offered early release programmes such as extra mural labour and parole.

The Acting Chairperson Dumizweli Mawite shared that, before they came to Botswana, they toured their prisons facilities, which called for a need to improve their prisons; hence the benchmarking exercise.
One of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service offered programmes was Open Prison System for prisoners who were considered to be of low risk of escaping. They were offered a privilege to visit their families, and came back to prison. This applied to both male and female prisoners. Some of the rehabilitation programmes, were skills training and an opportunity for juveniles to further their studies. The most challenges were overcrowding of prisoners and underutilisation of Prisoners farms, due to financial constraints.

In closing Mr Ramokate requested the Botswana officials to continue facilitate the Zimbabwe delegates for any further clarifications or ideas., There were commonalities from the discussions, but Botswana did appreciate that there was no Open Prison System programme. All Officials were encouraged to continue monitoring of ex-prisoners and encourage them to use the acquired skills during prison term.

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