Solwezi inmates appeal for expansion of cells

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–Prisoners at Solwezi central state prison are appealing to government to construct more prison cells at the prison to decongest the cells.

They complained that some detainees spend nights in a sitting position because there is no more space to lay their heads on.

The prisoners made the appeal to Home Affairs Deputy Minister, Nickson Chilangwa, when he toured the prison yesterday.

They also appealed to the judiciary to expedite disposal of case so that remandees are not kept long in cells and reduce overcrowding.

They said government should also look into other corrective punishments rather than custodial sentences for those who are convicted of smaller cases.

The prisoners further appealed to government to improve sanitation in the prison where they said there is only one toilet without reliable water supply.

In response, Mr Chilangwa said government is very much concerned about the welfare of people in prisons and as such will do everything possible to improve conditions in prisons.

He assured them that he will engage all relevant security wings in the ministry to chat the way forward to address the concerns they raised.

Mr Chilangwa added that he will also have discussions with the authorities in the judiciary to see how disposal of cases could be handled to mitigate congestions on prison cells.

The minister is on a familiarization tour of units under his ministry in North-Western Province.