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TREAT inmates humanely and endeavor to provide them with a conducive living environment, President Edgar Lungu directs the Zambia Correctional Service (ZCS).

President Lungu said that incarceration of a human being did not entail loss of dignity and that inmates should be made to feel that they belonged to a bigger family of Zambians.

The President said this after swearing in former ZCS deputy commission in charge of administration and finance, Chisela Chileshe as commissioner general for the service at State House yesterday.

President Lungu urged Dr Chileshe to work closely with State House and ensure that the lives of inmates were improved by making them feel humane.

He challenged the new ZCS chief to apply systems in improving the current infrastructure in the correctional service, create space for inmates, housing units for members of staff and improving general conditions in the service.

“Let us make inmates feel that they are human beings who belong to a bigger family of Zambians. The way we are handling them now of course is not as good as it should be but there have been some slight improvement from 2011 when we formed government to now but we can do much better,” he said.

Mr Lungu also advised Dr Chileshe to provide leadership in promoting government’s diversification agenda by ensuring that agribusiness and other productive activities the service was engaged in contributed to the national food basket and coffers.

He extended a hand to Dr Chileshe to consider State House as his office in terms of improvements he would like to bring to the correctional service.

And Minister of Home Affairs Stephen Kampyongo prodded the ZCS to continue striving in improving offender management.

Meanwhile, Dr Chileshe thanked his predecessor Percy Chato for laying a foundation for the service to smoothly implement its programmes.

He assured of improvements in the correctional service which would ensure that inmates’ welfare was enhanced and that the service contributed to national development.

Earlier, President Lungu held a meeting with Japanese ambassador, Hidenobu Sobashima who was accompanied by business delegation from Japan where he announced his intention to meet many business partners from that country.

The two assured of Zambia and Japan’s commitment to continue strengthening relations through cooperation.

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