The Commissioner General of Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS), Dr. Chisela Chileshe is among true witnesses of Rwanda’s transformational journey and home grown solutions including inmates’ correction and rehabilitation process to convert them into responsible citizens.
Speaking to IGIHE during his recent visit to Rwanda from 25th to 30th April 2021, Dr. Chisela talked about cooperation between both countries’ correctional services and lessons learnt from Rwanda’s bets practices.
"The transformations that we have seen in terms of correction is quite huge. The correctional facilities are showing positivity of how a human being should be treated,” he said.
During his visit, Rwanda and Zambia signed implementation guidelines of the existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed on December 3, 2020.
The MoU aims at strengthening institutional capacities to rehabilitate inmates into more responsible citizens contributing to national development upon release.
It also incorporates clauses to exchange best practices whereby Zambia can learn from Rwanda Correctional Service (RCS) model to introduce community based health insurance for prisoners.
The MoU was signed by RCS Commissioner General, Juvénal Marizamunda and his counterpart of Zambia, Dr. Chisela Chiles during a meeting aimed at enhancing cooperation between the two institutions in the field of correctional services.
Rwanda is among countries that have embraced technology to streamline the judicial sector’s efficiency known as Rwanda Integrated Electronic Case Management System (IECMS) helping inmates to follow up their court cases.
CG Marizamunda explained that they are ready to assist Zambia to initiate the technology that has proved efficiency.
On another note, Zambia as a country with advanced expertize in research to monitor inmates committed to train Rwanda’s prison warders.
CG Dr. Chisela Chileshe also reiterated his country’s readiness to strengthen existing cordial relations and enhance inmates’ rehabilitation.
Among others, Dr. Chisela and his delegation visited Kigali Genocide Memorial located in Gisozi where they received explanations on history of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.
After touring different parts of the memorial, the delegation laid wreaths to mass graves and paid tribute to genocide victims.
The Commissioner General of Zambia, Dr. Chisela said that genocide was perpetrated with extreme cruelty and called on Rwandans and the international community to learn from such history to prevent reoccurrence of Genocide.
“I would like to convey a message that hatred we should not leave loopholes for hatred, and ethnic divisionism because they are destructive,” he said.
Dr. Chisela warned people denying and trivializing Genocide against Tutsi particularly perpetrators roaming freely in foreign countries that they should return to Rwanda to witness severity of their wrongful acts.
“They should neither deny nor trivialize Genocide against Tutsi. What happened in Rwanda reflects extreme cruelty. Genocide fugitives who killed neighbors and friends should return to witness their wrongful acts,” he said.
“Today, Rwanda is a peaceful and secured country abiding by laws. They can seek forgiveness if they return. And am sure that they can be forgiven or get justice. I stand against people denying Genocide against Tutsi after witnessing history at this memorial,” added Dr. Chisela.
He stressed need to draw special attention to inmates convicted of Genocide crimes to rehabilitate them into more responsible citizens upon release.
"Zambia and Rwanda Correctional Services are learning from each other. We have a heavy responsibilities to ensure that inmates are not only rehabilitated physically but also psychologically because a traumatized mind is very dangerous," said Dr. Chisela.
"Thousands of inmates in Rwanda, are Genocide convicts who need a lot of attention. We will work together with RCS to ensure that we build capacity together and help our brothers in other areas of cooperation so that inmates are rehabilitated into responsible citizens upon reintegration into the society,” he said.
On the last day of his visit, Dr. Chisela visited the liberation museum located in Kimihurura.
“When we visit memorials or museums, our thoughts are reminded of what happened to forgive further so that we look forward to a very united society and above all, learn to be patriotic. It is time for non-patriotic people and others outside to visit Rwanda and develop patriotism spirit because it brings development to all countries. That is my appeal to all Rwandans outside. We have seen tremendous development here and we can only move on that development trajectory,” he said.
The General Commissioner of ZCS said that he was impressed by Rwanda’s remarkable progress and thanked Rwanda’s leadership led by President Paul Kagame for reuniting Rwandans and rebuilding the country from ashes following the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.