MONUSCO - Lubumbashi last Wednesday inaugurated the rehabilitated Kasumbalesa-Musoshi prison, during a special ceremony held in the presence of the political-administrative authorities of Sakania territory.
The Kasumbalesa- Musoshi prison is the only one in operation in Sakania territory. Built in 1973, this correctional facility could hold only 50 prisoners, and was in a state of advanced dilapidation. The toilets were unusable, the roof battered and there were no administrative offices.
But it now looks new after getting a facelift thanks to a MONUSCO quick impact project. The building has been completed refurbished: the cells are roomier, the toilets renovated and the courtroom rebuilt and equipped. The rehabilitation work carried out by the House Construction company included the construction of an administrative bloc consisting of offices for prison staff, an infirmary and a room for storing food for the inmates. This USD 29, 950 project has helped to double the prison’s holding capacity to 100.
However, other challenges remain. The Kasumbalesa-Musoshi prison is still without a perimeter fence or an inner courtyard, which limits the inmates’ movements. Robinson Cadet, head of the Justice Support section of MONUSCO-Lubumbashi, indicated that his unit was conducting advocacy actions with MONUSCO authorities and other donors to mobilize financial resources. This will make it possible to move on to the second phase of the project which will involve building the prison’s wall fence and interior courtyard. In so doing, said Robinson cadet, MONUSCO aims to further improve the detention conditions of prisoners by facilitating their mobility, providing them with a recreation area and enabling them to engage in productive activities in view of their social reintegration.
For his part, Léandre Bwilu , Administrator of Sakania territory, welcomed the implementation of this quick impact project which he said contributes to improving the housing conditions of detainees. But the rehabilitation of prisons alone is not enough ; something should also be done about other problems facing the population in their daily lives, such as health problems, he added.