PUMA backs Chief Ndiweni on call to close police, prison depots

THE Patriotic Union of Matabeleland (PUMA) has supported calls by Chief Nhlanhla Ndiweni to have Ntabazinduna police and prisons training depots closed on allegations that their existence did not benefit locals.

BY NQOBANI NDLOVU

Ndiweni argued the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services training depots should rather be turned into vocational training centres, and if not, then half of the recruits should come from Ntabazinduna.

The chief insisted locals were getting a raw deal and PUMA said it supported Ndiweni’s stance

“PUMA supports the call and position of Chief Ndiweni and his people in demanding accountability on certain issues that pertain to the various national institutions located in their community,” the party said in a statement.

“PUMA stands for the rights and welfare of the peoples of Matabeleland and the Midlands provinces, who for a long time have suffered discriminatory practices perpetuated by agents of the State, government and various institutions and agencies of government and stands for correction of such malpractices, which are in violation of the Constitution of the Republic of Zimbabwe.”

The party said the chief and his people were asking the necessary institutions and their respective ministries and departments to account for why local people were not benefiting in terms of employment and skills training opportunities.

“Therefore, they have made it clear that they need evidence from those who believe that the locals are benefiting both in terms of skills development opportunities as well as direct employment as cleaners, security personnel and cooks amongst other menial job opportunities,” PUMA said.

Indigenisation minister Patrick Zhuwao met Chief Ndiweni last week, and pledged to have a vocational training centre opened in Ntabazinduna to give locals an opportunity to upgrade their skills.

Zhuwao said he would also engage the Home Affairs ministry after he was told that a vocational training centre at the Ntabazinduna police training camp meant for locals was lying idle.

The centre used to train local youths in vocational skills such as welding, carpentry and others before the government took over the institution and turned it into a police training depot sometime in 2006.

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