THE Zimbabwe Prison and Correctional Services (ZPCS) has started implementing Cabinet’s decision to draft members of the San community into the country’s security services as part of their integration into the broader society.
Cabinet last Tuesday resolved that the country’s security services should set up a quota system for the San community.
ZPCS Commissioner-General Moses Chinobvu on Saturday visited the San community in Tsholotsho to implement the Cabinet’s resolution.
He said at least 20 individuals from the San community have been shortlisted for recruitment.
“While the selection process for everyone will start this week, for the San we made a selection on Saturday. We selected at least 20 to 22 individuals who are going to compete with others from Matabeleland North province. As highlighted by Government, we should place a waiver on their recruitment and this is what we are going to do.
Although we have shortlisted a number from the San community, they will still undergo several medical tests, we would want to know whether they are medically fit. We know they are physically fit and might be better when it comes to physical training,” he said.
Comm-Gen Chinobvu said the community was excited about prospects of having their members being enlisted by the ZPCS. He said members of the San community only know the prison system as inmates.
“I think this (recruitment exercise) is going to be very significant because the majority are being arrested. We have them in the prison system, some for poaching and others for violence. I would like to believe that if we enlist them into the correctional service, it will assist them to know some of the laws and it will bring sanity in their community,” Comm-Gen Chinobvu.
Apart from the recruitment drive, Cabinet also resolved that a primary and secondary school be constructed for the San community in Tsholotsho.
Most members of the San community were regarded as stateless as they did not have national identity documents.Last month, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage through Registrar-General’s Office conducted a mobile registration exercise which saw at least 5000 people getting national documents.
Tsoro-o-tso San Development Trust director Mr Davy Ndlovu, who has been lobbying for the rights of the San community, commended Government for adopting programmes that integrate the marginalised community into modern society.
“We welcome the projects that are ongoing and this is what we have been calling for all along. For us to integrate the San into modern society there was a need to implement projects that would capacitate them in life. It’s pointless, to say the San are primitive people, they like meat more than anyone else yet we are doing nothing to transform their lives.
What is happening is important as it is a recognition of their existence. I’m also excited that it’s not individuals who are implementing these changes but it is done at a policy level,” said Mr Ndlovu.
He said in the past only individuals would extend their benevolence to the San and that was not sustainable.
“For example, I had a chat with the late Vice President John Landa Nkomo who mobilised resources to build the Landa John High School saying the learning institution would target the San community in its enrolments. I told him that it would be better if the stance would have come as a Government policy direction as opposed to it being linked to an individual,” said Mr Ndlovu.
“After his death, it was no longer clear whether the school would continue prioritising the San in recruitments. So, what is being done now is what should have been done from the onset.
That the Government adopts the San project and all the line ministries will know that the Government has taken a certain approach. We are no longer dealing with individuals but the whole Government. Hence, I believe this is a sustainable approach to transforming the lives of the San.