Prison officers forced to fund their working conditions

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Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS) officers have accused their superiors of deducting at least $10 towards the improvement of their service, accommodation and procurement service vehicles– a responsibility of the State.

According to a memorandum signed by ZPCS Commissioner-General Paradzai Zimondi on November 16, 2016, junior officers were told that the force was going to deduct $10 from their salaries, $12 from provincial commanders to superintendents, $15 for chief superintendents, $18 for assistant commissioners to senior assistant commissioners and $20 for commissioners to the Commissioner-General.

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“It may be recalled that during the meeting (on October 20), it was pointed out that proposals were being made to effect some deductions on members’ salaries, which would be channelled towards the improvement of institutional accommodation, transport and health care services,” Zimondi wrote to all provincial commanders.

zimondiThis has caused an uproar within the organisation with ZPCS staffers alleging that the issue of accommodation improvement was the responsibility of the State, as the employer and deductions would be tantamount to extorting them.

With the ‘peanuts’ we get, surely for someone to expect us to part ways with $10 or so is unfair. You can contribute that $2 and you don’t know whether the money would go towards the intended purpose because it is not being administered by the State, but individuals,” a source said.

According to Zimondi’s memo to all provincial commanders, $2 will go towards the transport fund, $2 to the medical fund and the rest to the housing fund.

“At law and according to the conditions of service we sign, each officer is entitled to free accommodation and transport, which should be honoured by the employer – ZPCS – representing the State.

“This a breach of contract, where the employer is now demanding benefits from the worker, when it should be vice-versa,” a staffer within the prison services said on condition of anonymity.

Repeated efforts to get a comment from ZPCS spokesperson, Priscilla Mutembo were unfruitful as her phone was unreachable

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