Warders at Chitipa Prison have asked government to complete an office block whose construction works stalled seven years ago.
The situation has since forced the warders to use inmates’ cells for offices, thereby creating congestion.
The facility accommodates prisoners from Chitipa and neighbouring Karonga District.
Speaking during the handover of prison uniform by Chitipa Court Users Committee (Ccuc) on Friday, the prison in-charge Moses Chigayo asked government and other stakeholders to help the institution to finish the office block.
“Relocation to the new office block will reduce congestion.
“Currently, the prison accommodates about 200 inmates against the capacity of 150,” he said.
Chitipa district commissioner Humphreys Gondwe said his office cannot assist the prison because the department [prison] is not decentralised to district councils.
“As a council we cannot directly support the prison but what we can do is to help source out funds from well-wishers,” he said.
Chitipa first grade magistrate Billy Ngosi said the Ccuc donated 80 prison uniforms following authorities’ complaint that some of their inmates did not have uniforms, a development that prevented them from going out to do community services.
He said his committee sourced funds from well-wishers.
“We received over K200 000 from heads of department and the business community for the donation,” said Ngosi. When contacted, the prison’s spokesperson Lizzie Nyirenda said the project stalled due to inadequate funding from the Prison Department.