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Tuesday, 02 September 2008

A friend dies in prison

Life and death in Zimbabwe's horrific jails

My good friend Howard died in Mutimurefu Prison, in Masvingo, Zimbabwe, last week. the victim of abuse, starvation and infection. Many more are suffering similar fates within our places of detention, every day of the week. I am writing this to mark the death of Howard Erika, Prison No. 1141/03.

Mutimurefu is a dreadful place. It is almost literally falling down due to consistent neglect. The sewage system is disfunctional, and human effluent flows through the corridors. It took four months for these conditions to kill Howard.

There is an ironic twist to his death while in the hands of Mugabe's so-called security system. He was no gallant fighter for the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Quite the reverse. Howard, with a wife and three children to feed, joined one of the Zanu-PF terror squads.

But his conscience troubled him. He made contact with some MDC supporters, and gave them information about action to be taken against them. Suspicions were aroused, and eventually he was arrested on the almost unbelievable charge of beating up MDC people.

The case never came to court. Instead, inside Mutimurefu, he was locked into a two-man cell with up to twenty other men. The only food they received was a bowl of vegetable soup once a day. They fell ill, but requests for medicine were denied. They were beaten, and sexual abuse was rife. The results included tuberculosis, pellagra (caused by diet deficiency) mental illness, and in all likelihood, Aids.

With no washing facilities available, all the prisoners became infested with lice.

I know these details thanks to a sympathetic source from within the prison. He told me that when a prisoner died he was simply dumped into a cell used as a mortuary. The authorities took their time informing relatives, and the corpses decayed. Eventually they were given a pauper's burial.

"You must be very careful, if you have a relative imprisoned here," my source told me. "Unless a prisoner has his own source of food, he will surely die."

The deaths of six other inmates of Mutimurefu were announced along with Howard's. The men were Patrick Bhumera (PN 1594/06), Ceplos Lasani (PN 1656/06), Pedzisai Muvengwa (PN 747/07), Alimony Dzaromba (PN 248/07), Skubekhile Masuku (PN 320/08 and Josephe Mahumbike (PN not known.) R.I.P.

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Comments

This is horrible. I'm so sorry for your loss.

What is one to do, you try and do what is right and you die for all your efforts. How good would it be if people committing all sorts of atrocities had a change in mindset and saw the wrong in the ways?

Just about every single story I read about Zimbabwe get me worked up, and leave me frustrated and hopeless. I fear for the loved ones I still have living in Zimbabwe who don’t want me to worry about them too much and tell me that everything is okay and that they are ‘surviving’.

Is there any hope for a better Zimbabwe in the near future? Whatever the case may be I wish the loss of innocent lives comes to halt right now. I am sorry for the loss of your friend.

Sometimes I cry but nowadays I just look at this blog and shrug and tell myself that Zimbabweans are too docile and they deserve what is coming at them.

Exe Moze you are back now. This is the staff that we wanna see. We thought the burgars had closed your source of information.

Zimbabwe has reached a point of no return and the sooner all Zimbaweans realise that we are the new Rwanda/Somalia/Ethiopia the better. Mark my word: Nothing will com out the negotiations. Unless there is a mass uprising ZANU will rule forever and will use the gun to do so

If there is a failure to remove Mugabe alias Papa Doc soon, the population, or what is left of them will probably be sent to slave for the Zimbabwe's new masters, the Chinese!

This is truly a good story.

Hi everyone i am back i was in Zimbabwe for 4 days.

We cannot expect people in prison to be treated well by the junta. I had an opportunity to visit Sakubva hospital Mutare general hospital St Joseph and the medical centre. Ladies and gentlemen the situation is horrible. The reports we are reading from the news websites are not enough we need tv channels like the bbc sabc cnn sky and aljazeera to broadcast, the reality about our beloved country. Zanu-pf is finished, yangove bvunurwa renyoka. The Junta has reduced the life of its citizens to nothing. People are dying the conditions in hospitals are worst than a somalian prison. The forbes border post is nolonger what it used to be. You cannot tell how many entry points are there. There is one called pa Kiosk, pipeline, pagomo Kunjanji, Kwarimai, ku Mary mount, kuzvipuka(kumhuka)and etc. It was Mozambicans whom were known to be the main users of these illegal entry points. They used to use them at midnight but today it is used 24/7 not by Moscans as we used to call them but by Zimbabweana and Zimbabweanos as we are called by Mozambicans.The support unit which was meant to patrol the border they're also at the boom area of the official entry and exit points,doing their acts of corruption.Officers of both Zimra and immigration they are number 1 croocks.
Lets not talk about people in prisions and bodies in mortuaries. Lets talk of people in the hospitals. The situation is bad.

Sandra !! I really can not believe what I read, how possible could you say that, my sister? Where is your conciouce That was really very rude of you !!!!!

Sandra is right. Why let Tsvangirai do this alone? Why cant people rise and sacrifice their lives for a better generation

When similar situations occur in Europe or some other parts of the world, evil rulers like of Mugabe are done,dusted and buried in a very short period of time by the population that has been effected. Unfortunately in Africa and as mentioned by
Sandra and Doctor about Zimbabwe docility , African populations also tend to be docile in these circumstances and it appears the majority will always follow the most savage politician with the biggest stick.
As mentioned as mentioned above, the Chinese as the new masters, these people are well aware of this flaw and will use it to their advantage.

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