By SYLVESTER MWALE –
CENTRAL Province Minister Sydney Mushanga has called on the Zambia Correctional Services to take a leading role in farming and become self-sustaining in feeding the inmates in all the facilities across the country.
Mr Mushanga said the ZCS had huge potential to feed not only the inmates and its officers, but the country as a whole from its farms.
The minister said the establishment of Kalonga Milling, which is run by the Correctional Services, had enhanced the capacity of the institution in feeding the nation from its farms.
He was speaking when he recently toured the ongoing construction of 246 houses at Mukobe Maximum Correctional Facility in Kabwe by Avic International.
The minister also inspected the construction of 138 housing units at Kabwe Police Mobile Unit by the Chinese company.
“We are aware that the food you are producing is not only for inmates, hence the introduction of Kalonga Milling… We want you to lead the way because you have these big farms in the province so that the next season you are able to be self-sustaining,” he said.
Mr Mushanga said the ongoing construction of the houses for both Zambia Police and the ZCS was a clear demonstration of the Government’s commitment to improve the welfare of Government officers.
He said the Government was aware about the congestion in many correctional facilities across the country and was looking at ways of expanding the current infrastructure as well as building new ones.
Regional commanding officer Enias Mbao said lack of adequate space as well as inadequate bedding and mattresses for inmates was one of the biggest challenges facing the ZCS in the province.
“For instance, at the Maximum Security Facility, we don’t have an isolation wing in case of diseases that need to be isolated, meaning that those that are sick will be in the same room with others,” he said.
Mr Mbao said officers were grateful to the Government for the housing units because it would cushion accommodation challenges among the staff.
He also revealed that the institution had planted 571 hectares of maize as well as 69 and 60 hectares of soya beans and cotton, respectively.