The Malawi Police has hinted the need to modify the Rogue and Vagabond law that was recently declared unconstitutional by the high court saying it helps maintain law and order in the country.
National Police Publicist, James Kadadzera said the just abolished rogue and vagabond law deserves immediate modification as some countries around the world have done.
“Yes, though somehow outdated and outlived its lifespan, the rogue and vagabond law has greatly contributed significantly in combating and preventing potential and likely civil and criminal acts across the country,” he said.
Kadedzera added that the law prevented people from simply loitering around along the town and city streets during odd hours which resulted in the reduction of crime.
The law became a bone of contention after a cross section of Malawians including prostitutes argued that the law was being abused by the police who harassed them in the process.
Vagrancy laws have been challenged in many countries citing their vagueness with some countries relaxing the laws though not abolishing them.
Since at least as early as the 1930s, a vagrancy law in America is taken as a misdemeanor, yet it has commonly been used as a pretext to take one into custody for such things as loitering, prostitution, drunkenness, or criminal association.
Similarly, in the United Kingdom (UK), it is an offence for anyone to be homeless or be found begging in the street and one is arrested for the offence.
The High Court in Blantyre on January 10, 2017 ruled Section 184 (1) (c) unconstitutional after it was challenged by a Blantyre vendor who was arrested by police and charged with Rogue and Vagabond.