Added 18th June 2019 09:47 AM
This view shows the outside of Chikurubi Maximum Prison ahead of a tour by a parliamentary committee on health who wanted to have an appreciation of key health and HIV issues facing persons in prison mid-this month.
Here, Zimbabwe Prison Services (ZPS) guards stand at the gates of the incarceration facility.
A Zimbabwe Prison Services officer (bottom) stands guard over the prison courtyard during a tour of Chikurubi Maximum Prison by a parliamentary committee on health.
The Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison in Harare is crumbling at the seams, assailed by overcrowding and a critical shortage of medicines, food and other basics as the economically-crippled country battles to care for its inmates.
From this vantage point, this prisons officer monitors activities from a guard tower.
Inside this prison, convicts and wardens alike bemoan packed cells where running water is erratic and shortages of food, clothes and bedding prevail. Basic painkillers and antibiotics are impossible to come by, meaning prisoners risk dying from easily-treatable conditions.
This inmate is seen cleaning his eating utensils. AFP correspondents saw prisoners wearing threadbare uniforms in the prison's male and female sections.
Here, an inmate of the psychiatric section gives a presentation of needs and grievances to interactions between members of parliament and prisoners during the tour.
At Chikurubi, donors provide life-saving anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs for inmates who need it. "I am HIV positive. Drugs for HIV are available. But other medicines, antibiotics... even the painkiller paracetamol, are not there," 18-year-old prisoner Chiedza Chiwashira told visiting MPs.
In a bid to decongest the country's jails, President Emmerson Mnangagwa granted amnesty to at least 3,000 prisoners in March last year.
A member of parliament listens to Zimbabwe Prison Services (ZPS) guards during the tour.
Medical staff sit in wait at Zimbabwe's Chikurubi Prison pharmacy. But while ARVs are provided, one inmate complained there was "no medicine for epilepsy."
Female inmates stand at Zimbabwe's Chikurubi Prison during an assembly point moments after meeting the visiting MPs.
In 2013, the body said, more than 100 prisoners died of malnutrition-related illnesses. At Chikurubi, prisoners grumble about the staple diet of maize porridge without salt or sugar for breakfast, followed by the same, served with boiled kale, cabbage or beans, for lunch and dinner.
Inside the cells, paint flaked off some walls and for bedding, prisoners had thin blankets on bare cement floors. One inmate complained the cells were infested with lice and other vermin. Such conditions are common in Zimbabwe's 46 prisons. They were built to collectively incarcerate 14,000 prisoners, but hold more than 20,000 today.
A group of MPs on the health committee tour Chikurubi Maximum Prison to have an appreciation of key health and HIV issues facing persons in prison.
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