MASERU - Lesotho's prisons authorities are concerned about deaths
from Aids, and the incidence of sodomy in the country's largest
Recently four inmates of Maseru Central Prison were found guilty
of sodomy on fellow inmates and were sentenced to a total of 10
"On average, two prisoners die a week (from HIV/Aids) in the
prison," the officer commanding the prison, Senior Superintendent
Matete Mahao, recently told the Lesotho Parliament's committee on
Despite the deaths, prison authorities would not distribute
condoms to prisoners.
"Such a move would definitely encourage more acts of sodomy,"
Mahao said prisons had programmes to inform prisoners on the
effects of the pandemic.
The secretary of the committee, Sello Maphalla, said deaths of
inmates due to HIV/Aids and opportunistic infections forced them
to visit all the main prisons in the country to gain first hand
"Our visit was in response to various reports that prisoners were
living in appalling conditions not conducive to human habitation
and that at least two inmates were dying each week in the prison
from HIV/Aids-related diseases.
"Apart from the fact that the prison cells are overcrowded, the
prisoners also idle too much following withdrawal of skills
training... which used to be taught in prison.
"This led prisoners to engage in acts of sodomy that increase HIV
infections," he added.
The Maseru Central Prison, which has the capacity to accommodate
500-600, inmates now accommodates over 1500.