THE Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) has rubbished claims that it granted an illegal temporary release (from remand prison),of prominent property developer and renowned civil engineer Felix Munyaradzi to attend his father-in-law’s funeral in August last year, Zim Morning Post can report.
The prison authorities categorically stated that the land developer , was duly granted temporary release from prison by Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi.
The false claims were submitted by Munyaradzi’s cousin Collen Mavhundutse who alleged that prison officials had corruptly released him.
He was ignorant of the legal provisions attached to the release, it is alleged.
In a statement, ZPSC acting spokesperson Peter Chaparanganda said the facts recorded in the ZPCS occurrence books indicate that the proccess was conducted above board.
The inmate left prison in the morning and reported back at 1600hrs of the same day as prescribed.
“The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service has taken note with concern the exaggerated falsehoods raised by Mr Collen Mavhundutse in his sworn affidavit,” said Chaparanganda.
“The organization would like to categorically state and advise the public that Felix Munyaradzi, an inmate, who was remanded in custody at Harare Remand Prison was granted temporary release from prison to go and attend the funeral of his father in-law by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Honourable Ziyambi Ziyambi on 14 August 2020.
“The Minister is empowered to exercise these powers by the Prison Act [Chapter 7:11] Section 129 which states that “The Minister may, subject to such conditions as he may specify, grant a prisoner permission in writing to be absent from prison for a specified period for personal, family or other reasons if, in the opinion of the minister, the circumstances of the case warrant the granting of such permission.”
“In this regard, the inmate was temporarily released under ZPCS security surveillance for a specified period in accordance with the above quoted Section of the Prison Act,” further read the statement.
Chaparanganda further stated that the Munyaradzi case was not isolated as it was within the confines of the law.
“This is not an individual case where incarcerated inmates are legally granted temporary release from prison as several inmates have benefited in line with provisions of the Prison Act, whenever circumstances warranted the granting of such release.
“We would also like to take this opportunity to advise the public to seek legal opinion or advice before making any allegations out of ignorance on legal provisions,” said Chaparanganda.
In August last year, High Court granted the land developer was $55 000 bail with stringent conditions.
The ruling was reached after the presiding judge dismissed the lower court’s grounds of keeping him in custody pending trial on charges of selling State land and unserviced stands.
The matter has sucked in influential individuals some of whom are accused of fabricating evidence against Munyaradzi.