At least nine prisoners from Mikuyu Prison in Zomba remain at large after they escaped custody on Saturday as they were working in a garden.
However, Malawi Prison Service has allayed fears that the prisoners at large pose a danger to citizens because Mikuyu does not keep dangerous prisoners.
Mikuyu Prison was once notorious for keeping political prisoners before Malawi embraced multiparty, but it was closed and turned into a museum until 2005.
Our sources indicate that 18 inmates went to the garden on Saturday when a number of them escaped from prison officials who were guarding them.
This comes barely a month after four inmates in custody for violent crimes staged a daring escape from Maula Prison when well-wishers cut through the wire creating space for the prisoners to escape.
Our sources indicate that of the 18 who escaped, eight have since been recaptured while one was shot as the prison guards hunted them down.
However, Malawi Prison Service spokesperson Smart Maliro would not give the number of prisoners involved.
He, however, confirmed that there was indeed a jail break at Mikuyu, which he said is classified as a prison for non-violent criminals.
“I am not sure of the number as most have since been recaptured, but there are a few who are still at large. I will know the figure by tomorrow [Friday] morning,” he said He said, unlike Maula and Zomba Central, Mikuyu is for inmates serving sentences for non-violent crimes such as theft, housebreaking and defilement, among others.
“People should not fear that these are dangerous criminals, our prisons remain secure but there is no person who wants to be in prison so these ones took they were working to escape,” Maliro said.advantage of the bushes where
He added that inmates who go to farm have six months left on their sentences apart from being non-violent criminals.
“We have links and we are sure we will recapture them all and keep them where they are supposed to be until they serve their sentences,” he said.
Following the prison break at Maula, two guards are answering a charge of permitting prisoners to escape, contrary to Section 116 of the Penal Code which states that any person who, having another person lawfully in his custody, intentionally or negligently permits that other person to escape, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.
It is not yet clear if the guards who were in charge at Mikuyu will face similar charges. n