Church in Zimbabwe donates food for female prisoners

The United Methodist Church in Zimbabwe has donated more than $1,300 worth of food to female inmates at Chikurubi Prison.

Speaking during the handover ceremony, Zivorinashe Mujaji, United Methodist Board of Church and Society chairperson for the Harare East District, said the church was touched by the plight of the female inmates who faced many challenges, among them food shortages, while serving their prison terms.

“As (The United Methodist Church), we were disturbed by the food situation obtaining in most prisons around the country, and today we have responded to the call by our counterparts, the Prison Fellowship Zimbabwe, on the challenges being faced by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services on feeding the inmates,” she said.

Zivorinashe Mujaji, center in navy dress, United Methodist Board of Church and Society chairperson for the Harare East District in Zimbabwe, said they were “disturbed” by the food situation in most prisons around the country. Along with the Prison Fellowship Zimbabwe, they are responding to challenges faced by the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services in feeding inmates. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UMNS.

Zivorinashe Mujaji, center in navy dress, United Methodist Board of Church and Society chairperson for the Harare East District in Zimbabwe, said they were “disturbed” by the food situation in most prisons around the country. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UMNS.

Erratic rains and successive droughts have hit the country hard in past years, and Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services farms have not produced enough food to properly feed the inmates. Mujaji said that while the government has come up with several measures to address the food shortages, there was a need for other partners to come on board considering the country’s economic troubles. 

“We are complimenting government efforts in addressing the food situation in prisons around the country and also strengthening our relationship with female inmates in their time of need,” Mujaji said.

She said the church also plans to start a Holistic Horticultural Training Program for female inmates at Chikurubi similar to the program established in 2014 at the Kentucky Male Prison. The goal is to graduate 10 inmates annually.

Elizabeth Banda Karinda, assistant commissioner deputy officer commanding Harare Metropolitan Province, said churches have always responded positively to the spiritual and social needs of the prisoners.

“We appreciate the support that we are getting from the churches in our time of need and one such gesture is the food donation that we have received today. The training will go a long way in imparting knowledge and skills to them,” she said.

Karinda said the relationship between the churches and prisoners should not only involve donations but also extend to other activities spearheaded by the churches as their social responsibility. 

“I want to encourage the churches to maintain this relationship with the inmates and also involve them in other activities that you are carrying out in communities out there.”

She said accommodating the inmates would go a long way in helping authorities successfully rehabilitate them.

“It is the duty of the offended society, charity organizations, the prison and correctional authorities to assist the offenders to successfully rejoin the society and live as law-abiding citizens,” she said.

Chingwe is the Zimbabwe East Conference communicator. News media contact: Vicki Brown, news editor, [email protected] or 615-742-5469. To read more United Methodist news, subscribe to the free Daily or Weekly Digests


Like what you're reading? Support the ministry of UM News! Your support ensures the latest denominational news, dynamic stories and informative articles will continue to connect our global community. Make a tax-deductible donation at ResourceUMC.org/GiveUMCom.

Sign up for our newsletter!

UMNEWS-SUBSCRIPTION
Mission and Ministry
Tim Tanton (center, in red), chief news and information officer for United Methodist Communications, shares updates with African communicators and other UMCom staff during the 2019 General Conference. World Press Freedom Day, observed May 3, commemorates journalists and highlights the difficulties they face while reporting truth. File photo by Kathleen Barry, UM News

May 3 is World Press Freedom Day

Tim Tanton with United Methodist News talks about giving voice to the voiceless and why freedom of information is essential not only for society but for the church.
General Church
Bishop Samuel J. Quire Jr. addresses the Liberia Annual Conference meeting in Gbarnga, Liberia, in March. Quire is among African bishops in The United Methodist Church who have been discussing a denominational split and what that might mean for them and their conferences. Photo by E Julu Swen, UM News.

African bishops not united on church future

Three episcopal leaders from Africa signal they would go with a new traditionalist denomination if The United Methodist Church splits, but others aren’t joining in such statements.
General Church
Delegates from the Philippines and Southeast Asia sing during the 2019 United Methodist General Conference in St. Louis. Nearly 300 Filipino United Methodists joined a virtual conversation March 16 to talk about the Christmas Covenant and other plans for the future of The United Methodist Church. More webinars are planned for church members in Africa and Europe. File photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Restructuring legislation gets a hearing

The drafters of the Christmas Covenant are leading webinars in the Philippines, Africa and Europe about their proposal for changing the denomination’s global structure.