Center for Education Advice and Assistance (CHREAA), an organization which advocates for the prisoners’ welfare, says it is anticipating action from President Lazarus Chakwera’s State of Nation Address (SONA) regarding the improvement of prisoner’s welfare during 2020/21 fiscal year.
In his address during the opening of the first meeting of the 49th session of Parliament and the 2020/21 National Budget meeting in Lilongwe, Chakwera said his administration will ensure that Prison services meet international standards.
In his remarks CHREAA’s Executive director, Victor Mhango, said it is pleasing to note that Chakwera has plans to improve farming in prisons in order to ensure food sufficiency and construct additional blocks to decongest the prisons.
Mhango said: “The initiative from the president is a very welcome development because it will assist in promoting the welfare of the prisoners in terms of enjoying some of their human rights which has been infringed upon including the availability of food.”
He further said the initiative will also assist in saving a lot of resources that the government allocates to the prison department hence using them for other equally important things.
However, he asked Chakwera to walk the talk saying most politicians are good at making plans on paper but implementation becomes a big challenge.
Key issues highlighted by Chakwera in his SONA include expanding crop and livestock prison agriculture and mechanized irrigation farming in prison farms to ensure food sufficiency.
Chakwera’s administration has also promised to construct additional cell-blocks in prisons to facilitate congestion.