The Correctional Service has accepted the budget cut of more than K26 million however it will affect its essential services and debt repayments.
CS Commissioner Stephen Pokanis said CS accepts the budget cut of over K26 million this year based on the current depressing financial situation the country is facing.
He said about K17 million were taken out from the capital-infrastructure component for the ongoing to new Infrastructure projects and prison industry activities while the remaining K9 million was taken out from the operational budget.
Commissioner Pokanis CS has a liability of over K16 million going back to 2006. This is a reduction of K12 million from the K26.3 million liability Correctional Service owed to service providers back to 2014.
He said the history of liabilities goes back to 2012 where CS has K3.3 million debt. CS incurred over K23 million in 2013 alone. Correctional Service, has worked alongside Department of Finance and Department of Treasury to reduce K12 million from 2014 up to 2019. Total debt by 2013 was K26.3 million. CS managed to reduce its debt at the average of K2 million per year for 6 years including 2019.
He said the cut in the capital and operations budget will affect this debt repayment.
He said the cut on the infrastructure-capital budget of K17 million is basically for the ongoing project at Mukurumanda Correctional Institution and including all the infrastructure projects CS had in place.
The Commissioner said CS is working to restore the Hawa Correctional Institution in partnership with the Hela Provincial Government and Provincial Administration, the replacing of the perimeter fence at Kerevat Correctional Institution, rebuilding of a new 100 men dormitory at Buimo Correctional Institution and including many other infrastructure work for our Correctional Institutions which are in a very, very critical condition.
“Apart from the infrastructure work at some of our Correctional Institutions, we are also concentrating on two rural lock ups this year. Hopefully we can get these two rural locks up and this will assist to relief the overcrowding in some of our Correctional Institutions. I am confident that Correctional Service would receive a good budget for projects under the capital-infrastructure program in 2020.
“The cut on the operation budget will affect the provision of essential services like rations for detainees, fuel for operations, and including our current effort to pay off the liabilities CS owed to service providers provided for APEC 2018, National Court circuits, hire of vehicles and maintenance of vehicles, uniforms, maintenance of current debilitating infrastructure such as staff houses, and detainee facilities.
“My management team is working around the clock to revise its remaining budget to keep the department’s operations going until the end of the year. I will approach the appropriate agencies like Department of Treasury and Department of Finance, where, there is a shortfall noted in the remaining budget,” Commissioner Pokanis said.