Inmates at Mzuzu Prison have developed swollen limbs as a result of squatting for 19 hours from 430 pm to 6am instead of sleeping.
Mzuzu Prison Station Officer, Prince Wasili, disclosed this when Hi- Class Laundry and Dry Cleaners recently donated sugar, salt and soap to the prison.
“Inmates here do not sleep. When they go inside they just sit. They sleep during the day.
“That is very abnormal. They go inside at 4.30 pm and come out around 6 am. So, you can calculate the hours they spend in there sitting while you and I are enjoying sleep in our homes during the night. Their legs swell because muscles are squeezed for a long time,” said Wasili.
He described the situation as “very hard life for the inmates because most of the time when they come out, they feel tired because they lack sleep.” He said common diseases at the prison include tuberculosis and Aids.
While the cells are congested, the prison has two other cells which can accommodate 250 inmates but are not in use.
Wasili said one cell, which was funded by Centre for Legal Assistance, was completed and what remains is to fence it. The other cell, he said, is yet to be completed by former vice president Khumbo Kachali who initiated the project.
“We cannot force the donor to finish the project. We shall keep on waiting until he finalizes it,” said Wasili who added that Mzuzu Prison which was opened in 1959 is designated to keep 160 inmates contrary to the current figure of 587.
“The structure is almost complete. What is remaining is to fix a ceiling, toilets and the floor. We ask well wishers to help us with a fence. We have labour already,” said Wasili.
Managing Director for Hi-Class Laundry and Dry Cleaners, John Swira, said he made the donation to the prison in fulfillment of the scriptures that call for visiting those in prisons.
Swira also said his company was fulfilling its corporate social responsibility obligation.
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