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Minister tough on security in prisons

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Homeland Security Minister Jean Sendeza has ordered the Department of Prison Services to immediately institute an investigation into the issue where some inmates were found peddling mobile phones inside Zomba Central Prison.

Sendeza placed the order on the sidelines of her two-hour secret meeting with prison management in Zomba.

About a month ago, Inspectorate of Malawi Prison Services Chairperson Judge Kennan Manda told the Legal Affairs Committee of Parliament that a search conducted at Zomba Central Prison resulted in the confiscation of 450 phones.

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Lately, inmates have been breaking out of prison while others have been found peddling phones.

The Daily Times’ investigations recently revealed that there is a tight relationship between some inmates and prison warders.

“Following this, I have directed that the Malawi Prison Services should institute an investigation into this matter within 30 days. I have also directed the department to interdict all the warders aiding the malpractices,” she said.

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Commissioner for Prisons Wandika Phiri said they will follow the order.

“We agree that there are loopholes [and] that, of late, security has been affected in our prisons. We would like to assure the minister that everything is in order and we will follow her directives,” she said.

A month ago, an inmate at Zomba Central Prison was in agony after two mobile phones he inserted in his intestines through the anus failed to come out.

Zomba General Hospital medical personnel came to the inmate’s rescue.

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