The HIV prevalence rate in jails is 28 percent, almost double the national average of 15 percent.This high rate coupled with the consequent morbidity, and possibly mortality caused by Aids-related illness puts great pressure on the already limited resources the ZPCS has.
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Having been convicted of theft, Mr Chauke spent several years in prison sharing prison cells with sex starved men.“Although I was personally never violated, sodomy was a common phenomenon that most of us knew was taking place in the prison,” said Mr Chauke.
In other countries, married inmates are allowed conjugal visits subject to a variety of considerations such as good behaviour.
I’m glad that there’re some sister countries here…we don’t know how they do it in their countries but in Zimbabwe we wish this matter could be debated.”The proposal was however met with mixed feelings as most felt implementing the policy would actually promote same sex relationships in prisons.
They questioned who the inmates would be having sex with considering they do not share cells with females.
Retired Major General Zimondi is naturally scratching his head on measures that can be taken to address the challenge and suggests mandatory HIV testing on prisoners and distributing condoms as possible solutions.“Much of the sex in prison is for power and convenience.
It means I take away your power by making you my sex mate.
This was one of the more contentious provisions of the supreme law at its drafting as stakeholders demanded a section clearly outlawing homosexuality as it seeks to upset the natural order of things.“People are different and adjust differently to prison life.
I was married for close to five years when I was incarcerated.
But with male inmates, it’s a different ball game all together.
Scientists argue that women can go for longer periods without sex compared to men.
He said distributing condoms among inmates could help curb the spread of HIV in prisons.“As people who’re in charge of prisons, we’ve tried to issue condoms to inmates in prisons but they quizzed why we were doing so when they don’t share cells with women,” said Retired Major General Zimondi.“We need a legal instrument so that when we say we want to issue condoms to inmates, there is a legislation to base on.“Please, may you discuss this issue and if there is any justification then we can lobby Parliament.“We have a problem as people who take care of prisoners…please help us make such recommendations on whether it should be mandatory and compulsory to test inmates for HIV/Aids and also to provide them with condoms.