By Reason Razao
Citizens Coalition for Change (CCC) leader Nelson Chamisa has been given the green light to visit detained party activists and legislators Job Sikhala and Godfrey Sithole following his 24 hour ultimatum to prisons boss Moses Chihobvu.
In a letter directed to Chamisa’s lawyers, Shava Law Chambers, Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) said they would grant the CCC leader permission to visit his party legislators and activists but with some restrictions.
“Please be advised that authority has been granted for your client Mr Nelson Chamisa to visit members of his political party incarcerated in our prisons,” ZPCS said.
“The approval for your client Mr Nelson Chamisa was given with some restrictions. He is required to notify the officer in charge of his intended visit in advance and the specific times.
“He shall not chant slogans anywhere near the prisons and is forbidden from addressing any persons anywhere near the prisons.”
ZPCS said further restrictions would be imposed if Chamisa’s visit is deemed unfit.
“You may liaise with the respective officers in charge who may place further restrictions in the interests of good order and security.”
“Further, a prisoner shall not be visited by more than three visitors at one visit and the visit shall not last longer than thirty minutes.”
According to the prison officials, Chamisa’s visit, in terms of section 129 of the Prisons (General) Regulations, 1996 (Statutory Instrument I of 1996, will take place within sight and hearing of a prison officer and at such times and places as the Officer in Charge may determine.
Prior to ZPCS response, Chamisa had been denied access to visit Sikhala, Sithole and the Nyatsime 14.
In terms of Zimbabwean laws, any person who is detained, including a convicted prisoner, has a right to communicate with, and be visited by a relative or anyone else of their choice, subject to reasonable restrictions which may be imposed for the proper administration of prisons or places of detention.