Mutharika pardons 88 inmates, released from Malawi congested prisons

Malawi President Peter Mutharika has pardoned  88 prisoners who should be released  from the country’s heavily congested prisons as part of  the Republic celebrations.

Life in Malawi’s Prisons, one meal a day

Ministry of Homeland Security principal secretary Samuel Madula says the prisoners were supposed to be pardoned in July but there was a delay.

“The delay in releasing them is because a committee which is mandated to pardon prisoners was not yet constituted,” said Madula.

Prisons spokesperson Chimwemwe Shaba said the pardoned prisoners would be released by Friday this week.

The ministry says those pardoned were charged with minor offences and have demonstrated good behavioural reform.

“The pardon of the 88 prisoners by His Excellency the president is an act of mercy during this year’s independence celebrations,” says Madula.

The President, using his powers as stipulated in Section 89(2) of the Constitution, often pardons inmates during major celebrations such as Independence Day (July 6), Easter and Christmas.

In 2012, former president Joyce Banda made headlines after she pardoned her relation, Agala Festone Kuiwenga, who was serving a nine-year-jail term for rape at Zomba Central Prison.

But in an interview with Nyasa Times, Malawi Prison Services spokesperson assured Malawians that those pardoned deserved the consideration.

There are about 15 000 prisoners—which is more than double the capacity—in the country’s 31 prisons, described by some rights activists as hell.

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