The Cold Storage Company should cede some of its farms to the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services to help alleviate food shortages affecting inmates, the National Assembly was told yesterday.
Bikita West MP Dr Munyaradzi Kereke (Zanu-PF) said Agriculture, Mechanisation and Irrigation Development Minister Joseph Made and his deputy, Cde Paddy Zhanda, had agreed that the CSC had idle farms. Dr Kereke was making a contribution to a motion by Zengeza East MP Mr Alexio Musundire (MDC-T) calling for an improvement in prison conditions.
“We have vast land owned by the CSC. What if Government cedes some of these farms to prisons? Seed money can then be viramented from other areas. Let’s make CSC farms productive,” said Dr Kereke.
He also said there was need to counter the effects of the drought by using irrigation as part of measures to increase agricultural productivity.
“We need to deploy resources in agriculture,” he said.
Dr Kereke rapped Mr Musindire for likening the prison conditions to those of militant groups such as Nigeria’s Islamist outfit Boko Haram and ISIS in Syria.
He said even the so-called first world countries had their blemishes on prison conditions.
Chegutu West MP Cde Dexter Nduna (Zanu-PF) said there was need to use prisons in both agriculture and mining activities to alleviate challenges faced by the inmates.
“We should have land reform programme and mining reform in prison. All unproductive land should be given to prisons. Let’s take those mines and claims being held for speculative purposes,” said Cde Nduna.