COVID-19 Hits F/Town Prison, Paralyses Justice System

Handbrake: COVID-19 cases at the Francistown Prison has affected court proceedings. PIC.KENNEDY RAMOKONE
Handbrake: COVID-19 cases at the Francistown Prison has affected court proceedings. PIC.KENNEDY RAMOKONE

FRANCISTOWN: The country’s prisons system suffered a heavy knock during the past week when some inmates at the Francistown Centre of Illegal Immigrants (FCII) tested positive for COVID-19.

The FCII, located at Gerald Estates, is partly used as a detention centre for asylum seekers and also as a prison facility by the Botswana Prison Service (BPS). The old Francistown Prison is currently used as a quarantine centre for new inmates on remand, with positive COVID-19 results, before they are transferred to FCII after the mandatory 14 days of quarantine.

In addition, the facility is also used as an isolation centre for accused persons who were on bail but the condition was revoked after conviction and sentence. Sources at FCII said nearly 100 inmates tested positive for COVID-19 when routine tests were conducted on July 24. Reports indicate FCII currently holds nearly 300 inmates. However, BPS did not respond to a questionnaire from The Monitor regarding the number of inmates at the facility and those that tested positive. Sources added that the outbreak at FCII poses serious dangers to inmates since the FCII is overcrowded.

Editor's Comment
Let the law take its course

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