Botswana: Sheer determination and zeal to align rehabilitation efforts to national priorities remain vital in any Correctional institution with a desire to provide prisoners with skills in agricultural production while contributing to cost recovery and adding value to their country’s food basket.
Agriculture is a source of living for most Batswana, and institutions such as Botswana Prison Service must adopt creative approaches, embrace diversity and appropriate technologies to maximize output. One such approach espoused by the Prison Service is to learn from the best, particularly the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS).
In this regard, the two sister organizations have developed a platform where they can share ideas on how to effectively and efficiently execute their mandates.
Yesterday the delegation from ZPCS brought and handed over a bumper harvest from their farms to Botswana Prison Service. “The goods you see here today are testimony to the significance that the ZPCS attaches to food security in their Prisons,” she said.
Receiving the goods on behalf of Botswana Prison Service, Commissioner Dinah Marathe highlighted that collaborations like institutions like the ZPCS will greatly assist in developing high-impact programmes which will benefit not only the organizations but the two countries as well.
She highlighted that ZPCS has been doing exceptionally well in food production, as evidenced by the goods handed over. “I have no doubt that in the not-so-distant future, we will be in a position to be self-sufficient in food production to a point where we are able to feed our prison population as well as share with other government departments as is the case in Zimbabwe,” she said.
Commissioner Marathe stated that sharing of harvest is not a foreign concept to Botswana but is implanted in their culture. She said it was common practice that upon harvesting, the yield would be shared with elders, be it Dikgosi or any other important person in the community.
She said this practice brought blessings to the farmer, as it was believed their next harvest would multiply. “Such kind of exercise is a sign of respect and appreciation of the one being gifted, and this gesture really humbles me and would therefore like to declare a blessing upon Commissioner General Moses Chibhovu and the entire staff of Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service,” she said.
The Commissioner further encouraged her Officers to emulate the ZPCS and look beyond the Service so that they can feed the entire nation. She reiterated that this should be a lesson to the Officers and expressed faith that Botswana Prison Service will do things differently to maximize production next season.
Handing over the goods, on behalf of the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service, Head of Delegation, Senior Assistant Commissioner Sikhulekile Ndlovu, said the gift signifies a spirit of love from Commissioner General Moses Chibhovu and ZPCS staff.
She said the gesture is also an appreciation for their great relationship with Botswana Prison Service in most areas, not only on rehabilitation but also on security and corporate services. SACP Ndlovu expressed confidence that the two organizations will continue to share best practices to achieve their mandates.
The harvest comprised processed and unprocessed millet mealie meal and beans.