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image Members of the Correctional Services Staff Association posing after making their submissions in Parliament yesterday.

LOBAMBA – Correctional Services officers cannot bear the thought of  watching prisoners enjoying passionate moments with their spouses.

As a result, they have opposed the idea to allow prisoners conjugal rights.
This transpired during the Senate Portfolio Committee workshop where the warders’ association made its submissions for the Correctional Services Bill No.2 of 2015.
According to the association, officers have a duty of ensuring security at local rehabilitation facilities and cannot allow prisoners to have ‘passionate fun’ with their spouses as this would be risky.

“Since our job is to ensure security, we normally monitor and watch when relatives visit and chat with prisoners. But we cannot then watch them when they have sexual intercourse because this would be invading their privacy,” said the association’s Secretary General’, Mzwandile Dlamini.
Dlamini highlighted that it would be dangerous to give prisoners the freedom to enjoy conjugal rights as it would lead to bad activities.

“Imagine allowing a couple to enjoy themselves and then you come back and discover that things ended badly with one killing the other. It is possible that while you think they are enjoying themselves they could be actually fighting, which would leave one dead,” Dlamini said.
Even though yesterday’s session was not a debate, most of the senators got heated by the issue and pleaded with the committee chairperson, Prince Fipha, to allow them to have a say.

It was Senator Chief Mvimbi who was more vocal on the issue as he argued that there were prisoners who were sentenced to around 30 years and needed to have some loving moments with their loved ones. He said it did not make sense that a man would spend over 20 years in prison without being allowed the opportunity to make babies with his wife. “Some prisoners even have more than three wives and it is their duty to satisfy them sexually and make babies with them. Just because someone is in prison does not mean that they are no longer human. They still have needs like everyone else,” he said. Moving against the idea was Senator Princess Phumelele, who said the issue of conjugal rights made many Swazis wonder as to what the real meaning of prisoner was.

She mentioned that prisons were meant to correct individuals and argued that allowing them to make children while in their prison cells was not the right path.

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