Prison authorities in Sesheke district are overwhelmed with inadequate space for women and juvenile offenders.
This came to light this morning when District Commissioner Mihupulo Yumei informed members of the Legal and Justice Sector Reforms Commission about the poor conditions at Sesheke state prison during a courtesy call at his office.
Mr. Yumei noted that the state prison in the district was overcrowded and has no separate facilities for female and juvenile suspects detained there.
He said the authorities in the area were excited that the commission was collecting public submissions countrywide with a view to reforming the Legal and Justice Sector.
He hoped the authorities in his district would make specific recommendations to the government to improve conditions in prisons.
Mr. Yumei said the law enforcement wings in the district were operating under difficult conditions that were hampering efficient delivery of justice to the people.
"There is urgent need to address these operational challenges in almost all the departments in Sesheke especially the police and courts because they are failing to even follow-up cases due to lack of transport," said Mr. Yumei.
Mr. Yumei also disclosed that there was urgent need to put in place a law that would harmonize the relations between the traditional and local courts so that they effectively deliver justice to the people.
And Commission Chairperson Justice Fredrick Chomba said the operational difficulties of the government departments highlighted by the District Commissioner were depressing.
Justice Chomba admitted that there was urgent need to address the operational problems especially in the judiciary department so that access to justice by the people is made better and easier through reducing distances and increasing affordability.
He noted that the complaint about congestion in prisons and lack of sections for women and juveniles was common in most prisons.
He added that there was need to look into the situation seriously through the legal and justice sector reforms that are currently under way.
The Commission is today receiving submissions from members of the public in Sesheke
at the district council chambers.