Legal Education and Empowerment of Prisoners in Pre-trial Detention in Zimbabwe

On the 10th and 11th of June 2019, Centre Stage Media Arts Foundation (CSMA) conducted a legal education and empowerment outreach at Khami Remand Prison on the outskirts of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe where prisoners on pre-trial detention are held.

The outreach was aimed at reaching out to select prisoners and offer them information on available legal aid options.

During the outreach exercise we managed to interact with relatives and friends of detained inmates.

It was our observation that if, the Zimbabwean justice system is not supported by legal empowerment and legal aid services, the rights of the accused maybe compromised.

For prisoners held at Khami Remand Prison, if convicted at trial they face lengthy prison terms since the aforementioned pre-trial detention facility only houses prisoners charged with serious offences such as robbery, rape, murder (homicide) and stock theft. From our interactions, we gathered that most of the prisoners are simply being held on the basis of circumstantial evidence and did not know the process of applying for bail pending trial.

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I am impressed with your observation from the trip. It is the right time now for the legal aid services to be available to the prison in your Country.

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