Norton MP, Temba Mliswa has accused Justice Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi of unlawfully giving orders to Chikurubi Maximum Prison officials to allow jailed former Zanu PF MP Munyaradzi Kereke have sexual intercourse with his younger wife who is not a prison inmate.
Mliswa raised the issue during the ministers’ question and answer session in parliament on Wednesday.
The independent legislator asked cheekily if government policy on conjugal rights to inmates had changed.
“Has government policy shifted on conjugal rights of prisoners? For example, former member of parliament Munyaradzi Kereke is alleged to have impregnated his wife whilst in prison and you are also implicated for having facilitated that. Can you respond,” said Mliswa to cheers from opposition MPs.
He went on, “The question of conjugal rights should be extended to everyone and my question is; has the policy shifted for the one prisoner that I have mentioned.
“Why is that right not given to everyone? The issue of the selective application of the law needs to be corrected?”
An annoyed Ziyambi asked his former Zanu PF ally to prove his claims saying it was a very serious allegation.
Excited opposition MPs defended Mliswa saying the controversial legislator had used the word “alleged” and was still protected by the law.
Ziyambi later said in response, “The answer that I have is that we now have the Prisons and Correctional Services Department which is a constitutional body.
“We are shifting away from a scenario where a prisoner is a condemned individual. We are moving from incarceration to rehabilitation of offenders; correct them and integrate them into society.
“The mentality that society had before was that once you are incarcerated, you are condemned. That is the thinking honourable Mliswa has.”
Ziyambi also responded to claims he facilitated sex between Kereke and his wife.
“I am not in a position to answer what he asked about someone who is imprisoned and so on. It becomes too specific. But, we need to come up with more open prisons where prisoners are even allowed to visit their homes if they are not dangerous and also open up more community correctional centres,” he said.
Kereke is serving a 10-year jail term for raping his niece.
Rumours that President Emmerson Mnangagwa was planning to move his ally away from Chikurubi Maximum Prison have died down.
Recent reports have pointed to former Reserve Bank governor Gideon Gono’s advisor being singled out for special treatment by prison officials.
Recent images showed Kereke kneeling in front of Ziyambi after the minister had visited the prison on official duty.