One hundred and fifty-four (154) illegal immigrants are currently being held at the Harare Remand Prison.
This came out when Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs toured Harare prisons recently.
Officer Commanding Harare Remand Prison Chief Superintendent Charles Nyamasoka told the Committee that one illegal immigrant had spent close to a decade in remand custody without a resolution to his case. He said:
Of the 1 485 inmates we have, 154 are prohibited immigrants with some having overstayed.
Some of the immigrants are from countries such as Ethiopia, Nigeria, Egypt and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Harare Remand Prison has a holding capacity of 900, but at present has 1 485 inmates.
People kept in remand prison are suspected criminals who have not been convicted of a crime, but are kept in the prison awaiting trial.
In the case of illegal immigrants, they are kept in custody for trial or resolution of their case and have been refused bail.