Tanzania: President Magufuli says prisoners should be made to work ‘ night and day’

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Tanzania President John Magufuli says prisoners in the country should be made to work “night and day” while suggesting prison officers should “kick them” if inmates show laziness.

The Tanzanian leader, who has been widely criticised by rights groups over human rights issues, has suggested that prisoners should be used as free labour to reduce the burden they place on society. Magufuli also said he wants to put an end to conjugal visits in prison as part of reforms of the country’s prison management system.

Magufuli wants prisoners to work ‘day and night’

“It is a shame for the country to continue to feed prisoners. All the prisons have fields, inmates must cultivate them,” President Magufuli said at the inauguration of new prisons chief Faustine Martin Kasike, on Saturday.

“Some prison staff don’t have homes. Make the prisoners work, let them make bricks day and night. If they show laziness, kick them. You have labourers, and for free.”

Magufuli also criticised prison staff for allowing conjugal visits for inmates.

“A man is in prison, leaving his wife outside, and a prison official receives this woman and authorises the prisoner to do things he is not supposed to do during his detention. I don’t want to hear talk of that any more,” he said.

The president suggested that the underemployment of prisoners contributes to drug use and homosexuality in prisons while hinting that reforms could be ahead for Tanzania’s prison system.

Featured image: YouTube

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.