Minister Chiumia blocked at Zomba Maximum Prison

Home Affairs and Internal Security minister Grace Chiumia had a rude awakening on Saturday at Zomba Maximum Prison where striking prisoners blocked her from entering the prison premises.

Chiumia addresses prison officials

This was barely a day after she was blocked from entering Maula Prison in Lilongwe as she wanted to address them in a bid to request them abandon the strike and enter into dialogue on their grievances.

A senior prison official said Chiumia managed to talk to the warders through a mesh wire but the representatives of the striking warders walked out on her as the two parties could not agree on some issues.

“The prison warders want the government to put it in writing when exactly they would get what they want, they want an exact date and in writing,” said our source.

Among others, the prison warders want their prison warder ranks be harmonized together with the police and Immigration ranks so that positions are at par.

On Sunday, ministry of Home Affairs and Internal Security, prison, Office of the President and Cabinet and Treasury officials were locked in a meeting in a bid to find a lasting solution to the strike.

The prison warders have threatened the strike would take another gear if government officials continue with their casual approach on the matter.

Chiumia has promised the government would work out on the grievances with speed but said the matter involves a lot of stakeholders which include the OPC and Treasury.

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