By Margaret Kamba
Corporate social responsibility comes in many forms and many corporates usually invest in it less unless it somehow gives back to them.
Donations also come in various ways and an in depth analysis of these leaves a lot to be desired.
Imagine a bank engaging in corporate social responsibility by paying fees for underprivileged children and then many years down the line, you find some of these underprivileged beneficiaries working in the same banking system. It is the sharp children taken on board of this privilege and not just any other making one wonder if this could be called corporate social responsibility.
Reigning National Young Champion Farmer Cde John Muchenje through his Mahamara Farm in Mvuma recently made a donation of 5000 cabbages and fertilizers to the Hwahwa prison in the Midlands Province.
This gesture may easily pass off as doing so to get favours. However, the question is what kind of favours would one get from a prison, if not first class treatment in the event of imprisonment after all getting locked up is easy?
The question is does one really prepare themselves for a life in prison? Not at all. This is the reason why the Prisons and Correctional Services works hard to prepare the convicted for a life after they leave prison. Making them self-sufficient in the event that the community stigmatizes them is therefore very crucial.
There is a misconception that a person once convicted can continue with that behaviour once released from prison. Employing that person therefore becomes a no-no for many for who look for previous criminal records.
Imparting various life skills then helps wean them from a white collar job mentality to irk a living using their hands.
Lucky for the 40 prisoners at Hwahwa the opportunity availed by Cde Muchenje will make them self-sufficient once out of prison. Instead of coming out with nothing but being called names, the 40 and hopefully many others that undergo the training, will be employers and play their part in growing the economy of their country.
Cde Muchenje says the donation done by his farm to Hwahwa Prison is aimed at helping the prisoners use the acquired skills for a life after incarceration and also generate income for their operations and farm sustainability.
"I want to see the land which our forefathers fought for utilized. At first I donated cabbages then I said it's not good to give someone fish; rather give them rods so that they fish even when you are not there. " Cde Muchenje said.
"I donated 5 000 cabbage seedlings and fertilizers and this is for them to be food secure and to impart knowledge and skills to them for life after imprisonment.
"I have seen that this prison has vast tracks of land and we will work closely to ensure full utilization."
More prisoners are expected to undergo the training that will see them helping a food secure prison. Hwahwa is one of the prisons in the Midlands Province.