Inmates at Mutare farm and remand prison have commended the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) for the rehabilitation and integration programmes which have positioned them for a fresh start.

The 2017 edition of the ZPCS Open Prison Day celebrations once again brought an opportunity for incarcerated inmates to mingle with the public and their relatives as part of the broader rehabilitation programme.

This year’s commemorations, which were running under the theme: ‘Closing the Gap on New HIV Infections,’ saw inmates undergoing voluntary HIV testing and counselling services as well as male circumcision.

In an interview, inmates appreciated the rehabilitation and new empowerment skills, saying they are now better positioned to jump-start their lives after completing the prison term.

Moses Mazurunga, an HIV positive inmate, appreciated the quality health care he is receiving behind bars.

Some however called upon society to give them another chance, revealing that they have learnt that crime does not pay.

Guest of honour at the occasion, the Deputy Officer Commanding ZPCS Manicaland, Assistant Commissioner Kenny Ndebele said there is need for concerted efforts among the stakeholders to work towards reducing new HIV infections in prisons.

During the Open Prison Day, it was a rare moment for inmates to test their short liberty as they mingled with their loved ones, sharing meals and exchanging information in an open environment.