Special Assignment to expose Zim prison horrors

Tonight at 9.30 pm on SABC3’s investigative journalism programme Special Assignment, there will be an expose on the horrors of Zimbabwe’s prisons. Below are some details from Special Assignment‘s website (thanks This is Zimbabwe):

This Tuesday Special Assignment takes you into Zimbabwe’s prisons – which have become virtual death traps for prisoners.

This exclusive, never before been seen video images, were captured following an intense three month investigation and brave co-operation of officials within the Zimbabwean prison system.

The officials filmed day to day events inside prison on hidden cameras. The result is a grim picture of a huge humanitarian crisis within the penal system.

Inside we meet Brian Gumbo who is half way through his two year sentence for housebreaking…and it seem unlikely that he will make if out of there. The camera follows him around as he shuffles from his cell to a room where he receives a bowl of sadza-a thick porridge made from maize meal. Like many others he is also suffering from pellagra-a deficiency disease caused by a lack of vitamin B3 and proteins.

According to a report by the Zimbabwean Association for Crime Prevention and Rehabilitation of the offender (ZACRO), at least 20 prisoners are dying each day across the country’s 55 institutions.

Some of the prisoners featured in the programme have already died and others like Brian Gumbo are on the brink of death.   

“Hell Hole” was produced by Executive Producer Johann Abrahams and Godknows Nare.

Read This is Zimbabwe‘s article on Zimbabwean prisons here.

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