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Hunger and malnutrition are claiming lives in the Zimbabwean prison system. Sources in the national prisons service said 15 prisoners have succumbed to food deprivation at the Chikurubi Maximum and Harare Central prisons in the capital.
These sources said food rations in lockups around the country now consist of one meal a day composed of sadza - boiled maize meal - and vegetables. The most severely affected prisoners are those with illnesses related to HIV/AIDS.
The Zimbabwe Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of Offenders said that more than 25,000 prisoners are languishing in a prison system built to hold 16,000.
ZACRO National Coordinator Edson Chihota told reporter Jonga Kandemiiri of VOA's Studio 7 for Zimbabwe that prisoner uniforms are also in short supply and system administrators are having difficulty transporting prisoners to court hearings amid severe fuel shortages.