The commissioner of prisons’ memo written on July 16, 2017 to force all prison wardens to return to their duties has hit snag, no one seems to comply with this demand as none is retiring from sit-in with just a threat.

According to memo, all prison warders would today find themselves returning to their duties without a clear answer of their grievances, but is not the case.

“In view of the foregoing, you are strongly warned that failure to adhere to this directive is tantamount to mutiny and management will not hesitate to immediately take necessary action as stipulated in section 58 of the Prison Act. In light of this, all officers not on duty must desist from loitering around prison premises,” reads part of memo.

Zomba Central Prison have threatened to release prisoners if their demands are not met by close of business today.

While Warders at Maula Prison in Lilongwe and Mzuzu Prison concurred with their counterparts, threatening to lock up the inmates the whole day today.

“The strike is going on until the minister decides to pay attention to our grievances. As it is, visitors are not allowed to come and see or give their relations food.

The government should know they are punishing innocent people. Tomorrow we will not open the cells simply because we are not working,” said a warder at Maula Prison as quoted by The Times Group.

Minister of Home Affairs, Grace Chiuma, was stopped from entering Maula Prison on Friday, described the sit-in as unfortunate.

“I had a meeting with the Commissioner of Prisons and we discussed that the warders should go back to work. Within the week, we will get back to them with solutions. It is very unfortunate that a department that instills discipline is on the forefront of such a behavior. We are following the right procedures. Issues of money cannot happen within a blink of an eye,” she said.

The warders’ strike started last Friday to force authorities to raise their salaries as that of the Malawi Police and Immigration officers.

ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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