Prisoners, warders battle at Zomba Maximum Prison: Ex-Malawi minister Maotcha injured

Malawi Prison authorities at Zomba Maximum Prison are keeping it wraps the number of injured inmates and warders following running battles on Thursday as authorities confisticated unauthorised items in prison cells.

Malawi maximum prison in Zomba

Prison spokesperson Smart Maliro confirmed there was an exercise to confiscate illegal items but refused to give details.

“This is a routine exercise therefore it is not news,” he said.

Sources at the prison said there were running battles as prison warders confiscated over 700 mobile phones, indian hemp, beers and other harmful drugs.

Nyasa Times understand that the fracas erupted when one prisoner Jack ‘Nachopanti’ Bandawe was found with a mobile phone. He was poured water all over and over 10 prisoners joined to assault him.

Relatives and friends who had gone to the prison to visit the inmates had at lunch hour were kept away from the prison building, they were told to wait for hours outside the prison fence. Visitors and other people visiting the inmates are kept at a visitors’ bay within the prison.

During the fracas with prisoners, warders were injured including  Inspector Mwale who sustained a cut on his head, officer James Kumbani sustained a cut on his eye while others like Sergent Dzikolidaya and Mwamande were stoned and had minor injuries.

A warder Moses Mtambalika sustained three cuts on his head.

Several prisoners have suffered fractured legs and arms.

Inmates who spoke with Nyasa Times say they fear two prisoners have died following the incident but this could not be independently verified.

One of the inmates, former deputy minister in DPP government Elock Maotcha Banda who is unwell was reportedly chained in leg iron and badly beaten.

“There has been too much torture of inmates,” said one prison officer.

Malawi Prison Service acting Commissioner Little Mtengano who was reportedly in Lilongwe sent his staff officer Mrs Chikungwa to check on the situation.

Chikungwa herself is known to be notorious on torture as a few year ago she almost killed a prisoner known as Chimphonda serving life imprionsment but was rescued by former chief commissioner Kennedy Nkhoma.

Meanwhile, Chief Commissioner of Prisons Mtengano eturned to Zomba on Friday following the chaos but refused to respond to any question on, saying the matter was still under investigations.

Some years ago, an inmate, Kwacha Ghambi was killed in the prison after he refused to stop boiling his afternoon tea outside his cell and was forcibly pushed into his cell.

He poured the hot water for the tea on a senior prison warder, which forced other warders to beat him to death. This forced the government to make some prison reforms.

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This is a clear evidence that ACB must investigate prison warders. How can one prisoner have access to a mobile phone, boiling tea and many other things that other prisoners are not allowed to have. Prisoners must be treated with diginity and equality. They are all equal regardless of the positions they used to hold outside. The story also appears to have been written with too much inside information. This is an indication that officers fail to respect their oath of secrecy. While we take note that we are in a human rights period, sharing too much information about prisoners… Read more »

Kodi Chaponda apita liti ku Zombako kuti akakumane ndi anzakewo? Mukumusasatitsa kwabasi!


yose bho azimenyedwa ndezofunikira


I read in one of the newspapers that they were introducing use of technology in prisons. Is it long for prisoners to have phones? Should people still be writing letters to communicate with relatives in prisons? Let’s wake up Malawians. Everything works with some regulations. Just allow a certain time when these gadgets should be used and not to totally abandon development.


Maotchayo Analakwanji
Abare ??
Otchukawa akabwera kumeneko ———‘-
Tikuvutika chifukwa cha iwowo Gahena basi


Maotcha Banda was arrested in Blantyre for allegedly abducting a school girl aged 17 and the case entered plea in Zomba. He has been incarcerated since March 2015 awaiting trial.

Tonnex Mandiwa

Malawians should learn to respect others. People tend to think that to be a prisoner is a choice, but that’s not it. We have seen a number of examples, of some senior members of the Society, who could not be imagined, that one day they could be found rotting in Jail. Today, those Prison Warders, who are busy torturing the inmates, can also be found serving the sentence in jail also. Life has no champion. Watch out!!!!!


We see Elock Maotcha on facebook nthawi zambiri. I never knew he is in prison. How did he get a phone kundende?


Ku ndende sikozunzira anthu. Kukhala kumeneko kokhako ndi chilango kale. Ndende zathudi ma prisoners are suffering as if si ma human beings. Tonse timalakwa.


maotchayo akafa mudye apo ayi uli ndi dziko mutidziwa

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