Mzuzu High Court Judge Dingiswayo Madise has criticised the country’s rogue and vagabond law, describing it as “drunk and incapacitated.”
He said at Mzuzu University (Mzuni) during a public debate on vagrancy laws organized by the Centre for Human Rights, Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA).
Madise who earnestly recommended review of the law argued no law “criminalizes such thing as rogue and vagabond in Malawi.”
He said the laws did not make sense in Malawi’s present “democratic dispensation.”
During the debate which apart from Madise had such other panellists as Northern Region Prisons Chief Mashatini Moyo, Commissioner of Police (Centre) Dr. George Kayinja, Mzuzu City Council CEO Mcloud Kadammnja and rights activist and legal practitioner Chikondi Ngwira, it was revealed that the law was also contributing to the “overcrowding” of the country’s prisons.
According to Moyo, it was better to have the convicts do some sort of “community services” rather than thrown in jail.
But Kayinja was adamant and said the Malawi Police Service (MPS) would “continue enforcing the law” until a thorough judicial review was done.
Lawyer Ngwira appealed to parliament for the “speedy” review of vagrancy laws.
CHREAA is holding the debate across the country to raise awareness on the same. The Mzuni debate, broadcast live on Zodiak Broadcasting Station, was the second of the series.