Poor murder suspects in Malawi will have to spend more time in congested jails as Legal Aid Bureau, a government department which provides free legal services to poor people says it has run out of money for the services.
A lawyer in the department confided with Nyasa Times that treasury gives it a little money just to barely survive.
The lawyer could not say how many cases the department was expected to handle across the country.
“Our lawyers across the country represent those who cannot afford legal representation. It is mandatory in Malawi to have legal representation in all murder cases,” said the lawyer.
This comes barely days after minister of Health Peter Kumpalume said the ministry has put on hold referral of patients abroad due to lack of money.
However, treasury spokesperson Nations Msowoya blamed mismanagement of money as the main reason why some ministries and departments run out of money.
“We fund each ministry and department according to the national budget. The problem is that some controlling officers have their priorities upside down,” said Msowoya.
The government is facing financial problems following the freeze of donor aid which amounts to 40 percent of budgetary support.
Malawi Economic Justice Network director Dalitso Kubalasa said there was need to put in place sound policies and methods that can detect early in misuse of public money.