By JULIUS PHIRI –
CHIEF Commissioner of Malawi Prisons Service Kennedy Nkhoma has commended the Zambian and Malawian Governments for making it possible to transfer prisoners between the two countries.
On September 29, 2009, Zambia and Malawi signed an agreement on the transfer of convicted persons which was signed by the two Governments in Kabwe.
Mr Nkhoma said during the transfer of 15 Malawians convicted in Zambia for various offences at Mwami Border in Chipata, that the exchange signifies the commitment the two countries have on promoting the bilateral relation and issues of security.
“Permit me to applaud the Government of the Republic of Zambia and that of the government of the Republic of Malawi for making it possible for us to undertake this exercise. This signifies the seriousness and commitment the two countries have on promoting our bilateral relations and more importantly issues of security,” he said.
He disclosed that Malawi Prisons was unable to transfer Zambia prisoners currently serving their sentences in Malawi because it was still processing their sentence transfer documents.
Mr Nkhoma said that Malawi Prisons was committed to strengthening and improving the arrangement of prisoners exchange programme.
He assured the Zambia Prisons Service that he would like to see correctional officers transferring records on sentence planning, rehabilitation and not only security documents such as committal warrants and judgments to be processed.
“As you are already aware, Malawi Prisons will not be able to transfer those Zambia Nationals currently serving their sentences in Malawi Prisons due to the fact that we are still processing their transfer documents. As we agreed earlier on, we are here to take our citizens back home to where their rehabilitation will continue,” Mr Nkhoma said.
Speaking earlier, Commissioner of Prisons, Percy Chato said the occasion marked exactly two years after Malawi Prisons Service conducted the first transfer of 12 convicted Malawi nationals from Zambia to Malawi and 15 Zambians from Malawi to Zambia.
Mr Chato said the transfer of 15 convicted Malawians from Zambia to Malawi shows the prisons of the two countries commitment in realising the tenets of the agreements.
He said the Malawi Prison Service and Zambia Prison Service were alive to the fact in realising the ideals required that citizens who were sentenced offenders as a result of criminal offences they committed in either Zambia or Malawi should be given the opportunity to serve their sentences within their home countries.