Mzuzu prison inmate selected to attend higher learning at Mzuni

A 22-year-old inmate, Patrick Mwafulirwa who was charged for defilement, has been selected to study Bachelor of Science in Medicine and Midwifery at Mzuzu University after passing the 2020 Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE).


Speaking last Thursday, Mzuzu Prison Spokesperson, Macbeth Wasambo, said Mwafulirwa was found guilty of defilement and was sentenced to nine years with hard labour (IHL).
Mwafulirwa passed with 17 points from Mzuzu Prison Reformatory Secondary School.

“We will recommend Mwafulirwa to be on pardon to the headquarters so that he can proceed with his education,” said Wasambo.

Wasambo said Mwafulirwa, who is supposed to be free in 2023, stand a chance of being released on pardon or to declare his interest to proceed with his studies once released in the year 2023.

“This year in January, 10 inmates sat for the 2020 MSCE examinations and five (5) passed. So far, 11 inmates have made it to the university since 2001 when the school started,” he said.

According to the Spokesperson, this is a good development, especially for Mzuzu Prison considering that this was not the first time an inmate from the prison was selected to a public university.

He said in 2019, another inmate, Casewell Mapanje, was selected to Malawi University of Science and Technology (MUST).

“Those who will be siting for exams should borrow a leaf from their friends who have made it to the university from the prison and to always keep in mind that being in prison is not the end of everything,” the spokesperson said.

Currently, there are no legal arrangements that can help people like Mwafulirwa go for higher learning unless they are on pardon for being on their best behaviour and reflecting change.

Commenting on the matter, Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) Executive Director, Benedicto Kondowe who is also an education activist, said it was a pleasant development.

“It is inspiring to see inmates excel in their studies under unpleasant conditions,” said Kondowe.

According to Kondowe, such inmates should be given a chance to pursue their studies if the circumstances allow.

Being recommended for pardon is a welcome development so long as the inmate has fulfilled the requirements.

“The Government is obliged to provide education to those inmates who want education,” added Kondowe.

Kondowe said the prison, being a reformatory place; government should take action to help inmates who show willingness to learn since it will help them have something to do, once freed from jail, and prevent them from committing other crimes.

Mwafulirwa hails from Mwamatope Village in Traditional Authority (T.A) Kyungu in Karonga.

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