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Prison warder implicated in assault case

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One of the warders at Rumphi District Prison is being investigated by police following reports that he instigated some inmates at the facility to assault chairperson for the business community, Aram Beza, in the district.

Rumphi Police Station Officer-in-Charge (OC), Dennis Banda, confirmed the incident which happened on Wednesday.

Speaking in a telephone interview, Beza, who is being treated at the district hospital for the injuries he sustained from the attack, said he is concerned about the indiscipline displayed by the prison officer.

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Asked on what transpired for him to be targeted, the victim, who is also a member of the Court Users Association, said the warder suspected that Beza was taking pictures of him and the inmates he [warder] was supervising who were cutting pieces of wood at some place.

“My phone battery was low and there was an incoming call, so I held my phone up against the sun to have a better view of the number which was calling. Then the warder thought I was taking photographs of him, his colleagues and the inmates,” Beza said.

“After confronting me, I gave him the phone to check through, but he insisted on his case and later ordered the 10 inmates to beat me up until one of the warders who knew me came to my rescue. I bled through the mouth and sustained cuts in several places. I went to police to report,” he added.

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Reports indicate that this is not the first time for a civilian to fall victim to the indiscipline of the warders at Rumphi Prison who threaten people that they are ‘government’ in their own right.

Asked if they have identified the suspected warder, Banda said they are relying on information from the warder who rescued the victim who at the time of filing this article had not yet availed himself at the police to help them in the process.

“As police, one of our duties is to protect citizens and enforce the law. So we are still gathering facts and necessary action will follow against the culprit, need I say that several other investigations have commenced,” he said.

OC for Rumphi Prison, Watson Chitete, could not grant us an interview because he is on holiday.

But spokesperson for Malawi Prison Services (MPS), Smart Maliro, said they were yet to get a report from Rumphi and promised to call us after gathering information on the matter.

He, however, did not call us back till we went to press Thursday.

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