The Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) says it has a staff shortages of 9 000 officers a situation making it difficult for it to conduct its duties properly.

It emerged during a familiarisation tour of Harare prisons by the Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Retired Major General Happyton Bonyongwe that staff shortages are affecting effective operations of the ZPCS.

Deputy Commissioner General Correctional Services Moses Chihobvu said as the number of prison inmates continues to increase the current prison officer-inmate ratio is unacceptable and poses a security threat.

Retired Major General Bonyongwe said government is working towards mobilising resources to decongest all correctional centres by establishing smart prison systems.

The report also indicated that the institution is operating under a number of challenges including food shortages and fuel shortages despite it venturing in a number of programmes to supplement government funding.