Mchinji, June 21, 2019. Police in Mchinji have expressed concern over the absence of a prison facility in the district, attributing the situation to congestion of suspects in police cells which is affecting its operations.
In interview with Mana on Tuesday, Mchinji Police Officer in Charge, Owen Maganga said the station is forced to send suspects on remand to Maula prison in Lilongwe as most of the times the station’s cells run out of space.
“We sometimes send some suspects to Kamwendo Police Unit just to decongest the cells,” he said.
Maganga said the situation is further compounded by the fact that Mchinji lies on the border with Mozambique and Zambia hence the police cells also hold suspects from the two countries who commit crimes in the country.
“The station is registering high costs because we are forced to buy fuel to ferry some suspects on remand to and from Maula prison. We also buy food for some suspects who don’t have relatives who can provide them food,” he added.
The Officer-In-Charge recalled that a proposal to construct a prison in the district was shot down by some communities.
He said the communities argued that the facility would pose a security threat, saying prisoners who would be breaking out of the prison would be terrorising communities.
However, Maganga said the district has secured land for the construction of the prison but unfortunately funds are not available.