The mental health review tribunal has been criticised for failing to sit and review conditions of mental inmates at Chikurubi Maximum Prison.

This follows revelations by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services that the body has not set for the past three years owing to non availability of sitting allowances.

The Administrative Just Act provides that statutory bodies must discharge their duties impartially and within a reasonable time.

Renowned lawyer Advocate Canaan Dube of Dube Manikai and Hwacha believes the failure by the mental health review tribunal is in violation of the constitution and an infringement on the fundamental rights of these mentally challenged inmates.

Advocate Dube said the tribunal must consider constitutional and moral obligation to serve these defenceless mental health inmates.

Another lawyer Mr Zivanai Makwanya said the situation is tantamount to discrimination on the grounds of health in violation of the fundamental rights.

Meanwhile, Advocate Dube recommended the state to avail resources to the tribunal since it has an obligation to ensure the rights of every citizen are protected.

The Law Society of Zimbabwe, the Lawyers for Human Rights and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission have been challenged to consider coming up with remedies to assist these inmates.

Just like any other citizen, mental health patients have a right to freedom, liberty and dignity and above all the right to fair administrative justice.

The Chikurubi mental health clinic has a capacity of between 100 to 150 patients and currently has 257 patients.