Delays to deport immigrants worry Judge

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Chipata High court judge Prisca
Nyambe has observed that delays in the deportation of prohibited
immigrants has contributed to congestion of prisons in the Eastern
province.


Speaking at the ceremonial opening of the Chipata High court, Judge Nyambe
said there is need for Government to hasten the deportation of the
seventeen prohibited immigrants in prisons in the province as most of them from
neighbouring Malawi.


She appealed to Eastern province Permanent Secretary Chileshe
Mulenga to intervene and expedite the deportation of the immigrants.


Judge Nyambe also noted that there are only two legal aid lawyers in
the province saying the duo find it difficult to travel to all the
nine districts to provide services.


She noted that the inadequate number of state lawyers has contributed to adjournment of cases as only a few people have access to legal aid services when required.


Judge Nyambe also stated that Chipata does not have a resident judge due to
inadequate infrastructure saying it was gratifying that government will
this year start addressing the matter.


Judge Nyambe stressed the need to build more court rooms and expand
the existing ones as the population of the province has increased
since the time they were built.


She noted that lack of uniforms among prisoners was a challenge in the province.


Judge Nyambe stated that it was unacceptable for prison staff to mingle
with prisoners who are not in uniform as one cannot differentiate
between the two.


The judge also expressed concern that defilement cases were on the
rise despite the punitive measures that were put in place to curb the
vice.


And Eastern Province Permanent Secretary Chileshe Mulenga said
government has availed land for the construction of a High Court in
Chipata district.


Dr. Mulenga said government wants the High court to be built in the
soonest possible time so that the province could have a resident Judge
saying lack of one is contributing to delays in the disposal
of cases saying this was also adding to congestion in prisons.


He stated that government valued the judiciary as it upholds the human
rights of citizens as enshrined in the constitution.


He said it was for this reason that government intends to
deliver a people driven constitution that will stand a test of time.


Dr. Mulenga said government resolved to have a new constitution by
2016 so that the next general elections are held under a new
constitution.


He also stressed the need to institute studies to find out why there is a
continued increase in defilement cases despite stiffer sentences on the
offenders.


He said that this will enable authorities make informed decisions as
they addressed such issues.


Earlier in court, Regional prisons commander Mwizabi Simasiku said
there are 1,874 inmates in prisons across the province as at 06 hours
on February 2.


Chief Superintendent Simasiku said Chipata had the highest number of
inmates with 911, while Lundazi had 289 and Petauke with 284 inmates.


Mr Simasiku said Katete had 196 and Nyimba 194 inmates as at 06 hours
this morning.


He also stated that the prohibited immigrants have not been deported
due to inadequate resources to send them back to Malawi.

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