By  Phallyce Mang’anda

First Lady Professor Gertrude Mutharika on Friday gave an early Christmas treat to inmates at Blantyre Prison where she donated assorted items which included cooking oil, soap, sugar, notebooks, parked lunch as well as some soft drinks.


Mutharika said she is aware that the inmates miss their families hence cheering them during the festive season.


“You should not lose hope just because you are here. Take an example of Job in the Bible who lost everything within a short period of time but because he trusted God, he was given more blessings after the trial. One day everything shall be better, just put your trust in the almighty,” said Mutharika.





She urged prison warders to treat the inmates with utmost care considering that they were the only family available for the inmates.

Speaking earlier, representative of the inmates, James Mpondabwino described Mutharika’s visit as timely, hence this year’s Christmas season being memorable and unique.

Mpondabwino, however, asked the First Lady to consider providing educational and vocational skills materials for them to find something tangible to do for their daily living to avoid indulging in bad behaviours.

“It is also our plea that pardoning of the inmates should be based on good behaviour of the inmates,” he said.

“We ask you to relay our message to the president that pardoning should be prioritised to the elderly and the sick,” Mpondabwino said.

In her reaction, the First Lady promised to take the concerns to the president.

Blantyre Prison, formerly Chichiri was constructed to accommodate about 500 inmates but currently has 1900.

According to Chief Commissioner of Malawi Prisons, Wandika Phiri the current situation at the facility was affecting the living conditions of the inmates.

Phiri, however, was quick to mention that she was grateful for the increased budgetary allocation to Malawi Prisons, saying it has helped solve some of the problems in most correctional facilities in the country.

The event was spiced with performances by Prison Strings Band, Blantyre Prison Dance Troupe and gospel songbird.

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