…fellow prisoners made to remove body without PPEs
MASVINGO – A male inmate recently died under unclear circumstances in a prison cell at Masvingo Remand prison after spending some days battling an undisclosed illness, TellZim News has learnt.
TellZim News has it on good authority that the inmate spent some days in the cell after being discharged from Masvingo Provincial Hospital although he had not fully-recovered.
Information in possession made available to TellZim News by confidential sources pins the death on an infection which could not be verified by the time of writing.
Other sources said the inmate had displayed Covid-19 symptoms although he might have harboured some underlying conditions.
When contacted for comment on the cause of death and identity of the deceased, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) Masvingo Public Relations Officer Stanslous Sanike said he was not in office but promised to look into the matter and provide finer details after an hour.
“Let me investigate and make some calls because I am not at work these days so give me an hour so that I can give you accurate information,” said Sanike.
A follow up on Sanike was futile as his mobile went unanswered up until the time of publishing the story.
Sources said the now deceased was a mental illness patient.
They said when the man died, no proper Covid-19 protocols on dealing with the dead were followed, with fellow prison inmate being made to carry the body from the cells into a ZPCS vehicle which waited outside.
The prisoners did not have Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) when they handled the body, making them vulnerable to possible infections.
“Other inmates were forced to carry the body from Cell 16 using a blanket and what was even scarier was that they didn’t have any protective clothing despite fears of Covid-19,” said a source.
Zimbabwean prisons have been ravaged with Covid-19 and over 70 inmates tested positive at Mutimurefu prison last month.
Some prisoners who have been detained at Masvingo Remand Prison in the past have said the place was suitable for animals perhaps; with unkempt toilets and bathroom cubicles that are hardly scrubbed.
In many instances, up to 30 prisoners are forced into one cell which has one dirty toilet cubicle that is never washed with disinfectants.
Blankets are filthy and lice-infested.