Some inmates at Maula Prison in Lilongwe have asked for pardon from the government ahead of the Independence Day Celebrations to take place this coming Sunday.
Traditionally, the President pardons prisoners based on good behaviour and degree of offences as part of goodwill during such celebrations as Easter, independence and Christmas.
But the prisoners made their appeal on Tuesday during a legal rights awareness campaign organised by Centre for Legal Assistance (Cela).
Most inmates who asked for pardon claimed to have been on remand for almost two years.
“I have been here for over 18 months without being convicted. I have also tried to appeal but nothing was granted. That is why I am asking for pardon,” said one of the inmates, Osten Chimombo.
Prison station officer Thomas Mtegha said they currently have 2 495 inmates at the facility and that the number is still increasing.
“There is, indeed, a need to let others go,” said Mtegha.
Cela paralegal officer Melyana Kasuza said her organisation will ensure prisoners who have stayed on remand for a long time have a chance to be heard.
Earlier this year, former president Joyce Banda pardoned 281 prisoners from all the prisons as part of Easter Celebrations.