The Centre for Human Rights, Education Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) and the Southern African Litigation Centre (SALC) welcome the just-passed revised budget during the 2022/23 Mid-Year National Budget review sitting of Parliament. The approved revised budget has seen Parliament increasing the prison food budget, and further, ringfencing it to address the food shortage that hit the prisons in the past months. The revised approved budget considers the deficit that the Prisons had and has increased the prison total budget with MWK1 billion from MWK15.04 billion to MWK16.03 billion. In addition to this, an increment in the b get allocated for food for MWK780 000 000 was approved for the next 3 months, and MWK100 000 000 has been allocated for the establishment of Mega Farms within prisons.
CHREAA and SALC are grateful to all stakeholders who worked so hard to lobby for the increased budget, and special recognition goes to the Parliamentary Committee on Legal Affairs, the Ministry of Finance, the Parliamentary Committee on Social and Community Affairs, the Malawi Prison Services and the Ministry of Homeland Security.
“It was delightful and encouraging to listen to the members of parliament during the debate lamenting how the prison budget is not adequate and that there is need to increase the budget even further in order to address the challenges in prison which have persisted for years” Says Victor Mhango, Executive Director for CHREAA
“The passing of the revised budget for Prisons is an indication of the Government’s commitment to promote and protect, the rights of prisoners. Nelson Mandela in one of his famous quotes stated that “no one truly knows a nation until one has been inside its jails.” Says Chikondi Chijozi, SALC Criminal Justice Lead.
CHREAA and SALC believe that Government will continue to address the challenges in prisons and ensure that prisoners are treated with dignity and are able to enjoy their basic human rights.