Maputo, 1 Jun (AIM) – The Mozambican Minister of Justice, Helena Kida, has accused prison guards of allowing and boosting the circulation and consumption of drugs and alcohol in the country’s prisons.
The minister, who was giving a lecture on human rights in the Special Women’s Penitentiary, in the southern city of Matola city, said that all manner of illegal substances and equipment are entering the prisons, which would be impossible without the connivance of the guards.
“Alcohol, cigarettes, mobile phones and other equipment is always being found in the cells”, she said. “There is someone who allows the entry of these things and such a person is worse than the criminals.”
According to Kida, the guards must know the legal measures on how to deal with prisoners, since they are especial people “and the guards must also be aware that drug use opens room for other vices.”
“After acquiring the habit, the individuals want more drugs. They start to steal in order to buy drugs”, the minister said, arguing that “we have to be trained to know how to deal with these issues.”
The guards, said the minister, must honor the oath they have sworn, taking into account that prisoners deserve respect and dignity. “They have their rights and duties, as well as constitutional guarantees”, she added/
Kida also said it makes no sense to have pregnant women in the prisons. But this happens because of the guards’ connivance.