Slow progression of cases leading to exceeding remand period is still the main challenge in criminal justice system besides huge amount of fines demanded by the courts.
Irish Rule of Law International-IRLI Alternative Justice Programs Officer Margret Mwale made the remarks on Thursday in Ntcheu during the commemoration of the International Human Rights Day at Ntcheu Prison.
Mwale said they observed existing gaps still in criminal justice system hence their intervention to address such to avoid infringement of human rights among the prisoners in the country.
“We observed that there is a gap in criminal justice system that is leading to human rights violation among the inmates. Exceeding of remand period and failing to meet bail fines are among notable reasons perpetrating human rights violation of inmates,” she said.
Meanwhile Ntcheu Prison Officer-In-Charge Lawrence Kachitsotso said the delay to complete cases by the courts was contributing to congestion at the facility which accomodates inmates from Ntcheu and Balaka.
Said Kachitsotso: “Currently we have 188 people on remand which is worrisome as it exposes inmates from various diseases hence pleading with the courts to fast track the progression of the cases to atleast ease pressure that we experience.”
Meanwhile, Paralegal Advisory Service Institute regional team leader for the centre, Alfred Munika indicated they would collaborate with the Malawi Human Rights commission to follow and investigate allegations of torture that inmates experience.
Ntcheu prison has over 400 inmates against a capacity of 135.