Fifty-nine prisoners have broken out of correctional facilities countrywide this year, largely due to negligence of guards who now face disciplinary action.
Figures obtained from the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) show that 48 inmates also escaped custody over the same period last year.
In an interview, ZPCS Commissioner General Moses Chihobvu said negligent prison officers will face the music.
“A total of 59 escapees have so far been recorded in 2021 as compared to 48 recorded over the same period in year 2020,” he said.
“However, notwithstanding such escape incidents, the ZPCS continues to conscientise its staff on the need to be vigilant during the call of duty.
Comm-Gen Chihobvu said over 2 000 prisoners have been infected with Covid-19 since the outbreak of the pandemic.
He said 90 percent of all prison officers have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
“As part of measures to contain its (the virus) spread, the ZPCS has been religiously following and adhering to both the WHO (World Health Organisation) and national guidelines and protocols to prevent the spread of this virus.”
He added: “Those infected have been isolated to curb the spread of the disease. Uptake of vaccination has also been pleasing.
“We are also cognisant of the fact that there is a new variant that was recently detected in Botswana and South Africa, hence the ZPCS continues to conduct awareness campaigns within its cantonment areas.
“In terms of statistics, a total number of 992 officers and 2 038 inmates were infected with the virus, with 32 deaths being recorded (10 officers, 18 inmates and four dependants).” -Sunday Mail