Chief Commissioner of the Malawi Prison Services Kennedy Nkhoma speaking at Lauderdale Primary School Ground in the area of Chief Mabuka in Mulanje on Friday during the commemoration of the Africa Prisons Day called on all Malawians not discriminate prisoners as they can become productive and law abiding citizens after serving their jail terms.
“Our aim is to ensure that communities are able to accommodate the ex-prisoners as fellow citizens who can play an important role towards social economic development of the country as they have acquired various vocational skills for development,” said Nkhoma.
Nkhoma said time had come for communities to change their attitude towards prisoners, warning continued discriminatory tendencies against prisoners were making prisoners feel unwelcome in the society.
“For instance, in Mulanje 35 percent of those who have served their sentence return to the prison as perpetual offenders due to lack of community involvement in transforming the lives of the ex-convicts because they are segregated in the society,” explained Nkhoma.
Nkhoma further added that the Prison Services had adopted human rights curricular which had given prisoners a chance to be trained in various vocational skills like carpentry and continue with studies.
In his remarks Chairperson for Mulanje District Council, Councillor Manuel Bambala commended the Malawi Prison Service for enlightening the public on prison related matters.
Bambala was hopeful that the enlightenment would change people’s attitude towards prisoners and ex-convicts. He also asked communities to support families of those whose members were in prison.