Malawi Police Service has said it is not ready to prosecute Zomba Central Prison escapees arguing the Malawi Prison Services did not lodge a formal complaint on the prison break.
A source within the Police Service who did not want to be named told the Malawi News Agency (Mana) that it is difficult for police to prosecute the prison breakers without details.
“We cannot charge them because prison authorities have not yet complained to us on the matter but we are aware of the situation,” said the source who warned the Mana reporter against disclosure of his name due to the sensitivity of the matter.
However, National Police spokesperson, Davie Chingwalu said there is possibility that one of the charges would be escaping from lawful custody.
“I may say that according to the law a Prison is a designated place for detention and when one escapes, it means a law has been contravened hence liable to prosecution,” said Chingwalu.
Efforts to talk to Zomba Central Prison Officer-In-Charge, Fragment Phiri proved futile as his phone went unanswered on several attempts.
Escape from lawful custody offence carries a minimum of seven and a maximum of 14 years imprisonment with hard labour.
The prisoners are said to have taken advantage of laps in security to stage a prison break allegedly due to a revolt against the release of two inmates on a presidential pardon who the inmates felt should not have appeared on the pardon list.
The two were serving sentences of manslaughter and rape.