Inmates at Ntcheu prison have demanded that government should provide requisite funds to paralegal officers to start representing accused persons with minor cases in courts, arguing the development would reduce overcrowding in prison cells.
The inmates said during the commemoration of World Human Rights Day.
“It is worrisome that government is not doing enough to improve the condition of prison cells as in most cases they eat one meal a day while in some circumstances they sleep on an empty stomach due to lack of food,” said one of the inmates.
Another said “we are always told that prisons are there to reform us but considering what we sometimes we go through we tend to think that prisons are there to torch us.”
Harry Phiri, District Commissioner for Ntcheu, who was the guest of honour assured the inmates of government support and commitment towards Ntcheu prison.
“We know what you are going through. Let me assure you that government through its reform programmes will improve some of the conditions in the prison cells,” said Phiri.
But Phiri said government alone cannot do all things and he therefore appealed to business people and all well-wishers in the district to assist Ntcheu prison.
He appealed to the inmates to be focused advising them not to focus on their present conditions.