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    Friday, 3 November 2017

    No holding cells for female prisoners at Murambinda

    Women suffering prolonged detention periods


    MURAMBINDA – Female suspects awaiting trial at Buhera Magistrates Courts at Murambinda Growth Point are facing injustices as they have to endure long detention periods because there are no holding cells for women in the district.
    The Mirror has established that Murambinda has holding cells for men only and women are taken to Rusape which is 120km away for detention.
    Women prisoners are as result suffering injustices as their cases are frequently postponed due to shortages of transport for them to be ferried from Rusape back to Murambinda for trial.
    Some women on remand remain incarcerated for periods of over a month as they skip trial dates because of lack of transport. 
    The women also endure travelling long distances between the court and the holding cells in Rusape.
    Human rights lawyer Blessing Nyamaropa of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said remand prisons must be as close as possible to the court.
    "Remand prisons by and large must be close from where the court is so that transportation of prisoners is not affected by logistics. The accused should appear in court within reasonable time as you know that justice delayed is justice denied," said Nyamaropa.
    ZPCS public relations officer, Principal Correctional Officer Manicaland Province Liberty Mhlanga confirmed the situation and said Murambinda was only a satellite prison of Rusape opened to support the Judiciary which opened a court there.
    He said the prison accommodation they have at Murambinda was given to them by the Police but is only enough for male prisoners who come in larger numbers than the females.
    He revealed that the Prison Services now has a piece of land at Murambinda and they plan to build a prison there once they have resources.
    "We were assisted by the ZRP who gave us accommodation that can only take of male inmates who happen to be in bigger numbers at any given time," said Mhlanga. 
    The Mirror can cite two suspects Vimbai Komboni (28) and Jessica Musarurwa who have been held at Rusape since September 29, 2017 and have not yet been tried because of the crippling transport problems.
    Komboni for example has been charged with theft and she was supposed to come for trial on October 2, 2017 but this was moved to October 13 the following week due to transport problems. The case was then moved to October 27, 2017.
    Musarurwa is facing infanticide charges.
     Women in Murambinda are saying that it seems as if court officials are neglecting the rights of women.
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