Malawi Prison warders at enter day two of strike over salary harmonization

Zomba Central Prison main gate still remained closed Saturday, as junior prison warders continue to protest over salary structure harmonization with their counterparts in Malawi Police Services and Department of Immigration.

Prison warder demonstration to express their anger at Zomba Central Prison

Malawi News Agency (Mana) visited the premises on Saturday morning and found scores of warders, laying branches of trees and car tires.

Visitors could not be allowed to enter and it appeared services could not be offered as the warders were chanting, whistling, singing and dancing in protest.

In an interview, one of the protesting warders who sought for anonymous source told Mana that they will not relent their efforts until authorities harmonize the salary structure as those of their counter parts in the Malawi Police Service and Department of Immigration.

He said it pained them a lot to learn that only Department of Immigration and Malawi Police Service have been considered for salary restructuring in which Constable in the Department of Immigration and Malawi Police Service who were at Grade M Salary Scale have been pushed to Grade L Salary Scale which represents a promotion from Constable to Sub-Inspector, yet they are all under the Ministry of Home Affairs and are security agents.

The disgruntled warder also said that if the police officers are at risk, prison warders are also at risk and should be treated equally with their police counterparts.

“We are at risk of getting diseases from prisoners, most of us have suffered Tuberculosis and we also keep the same dangerous criminals the police arrest,” Bemoaned the warder.

The turmoil begun on Friday morning when the main gate at Central Prison was closed paralyzing all the services and even the police failed to take remanded offenders to court.

However, Malawi Prison Service Spokesperson, Smart Maliro, told Mana on Friday that a few disgruntled junior warders were protesting and that the situation at the prison was normal as no prisoner has escaped and property has not been damaged.

He also denied to comment on what measures the authorities are taking to address grievances but stressed that senior officers have intervened in the matter.

“As of now, the situation has normalized and senior officers have intervened in the matter,” said Maliro in the interview.

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