For the ordinary person, the term prison spells doom and the end of the world.
Yet for some who have been made examples by the law, it is simply the beginning of another life.
As the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) makes efforts to move away from the retributive approach and embrace correctional rehabilitation, vocational colleges have been set up in most prisons to impart skills to the inmates.
“Rehabilitation has gone through many manifestations over centuries, including penitentiary, therapeutic, social learning and rights orientated models and Zimbabwe’s prisons have now started vocational training and offering certificates. Plans are underway to affiliate the certificate with a local university or college,” noted Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Cde Ziyambi Ziyambi.
For 25 year old Nomatter Makuwere, who is serving time for rape and is now a tailor after undergoing a garment making course, education has made prison life more bearable and he can now look forward to starting a career in tailoring come 2024 when he finishes his 10-year sentence.
Inmates engage in education for a variety of reasons and while others attend classes to escape from the daily drudge of the regime, others take up courses to acquire knowledge and learn a skill, thus embracing the opportunity of a second chance education.
However, what now remains to be seen is whether industry and society will be able to embrace the certificates coming from inside prison walls.
Harare Central Prison is offering vocational training in garment making, tailoring, welding, carpentry and motor mechanics.