Inmates at Mzimba Prison in the northern part of Malawi are facing extreme starvation as they often spend days without eating due to what authorities say is lack of funding for the prison.
During a visit on Tuesday, prisoners told this publication that there has been a shortage of food at the facility for close to three months now but authorities are coy to react.
They went on to claim that apart from hunger, the facility is going through a lot of challenges including congestion but despite complaining to authorities, nothing seems to be changing.
“We still face a lot of problems here; we are not eating three times per day this time. Apart from that we are facing a lot of other problems including lack of health attention when we fall sick,” complained one inmate who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Records seen by our reporter indicate that the prison is home to about 574 prisoners. This means that every day, the prisoners have to consume about 10 50kg bags of flour.
Currently, the prison is sourcing its food from well-wishers who usually donates little than needed for prisoners to be fed.
Confirming the predicament, Mzimba Prison officer in charge, commissioner Raphael Mshali told our reporter that the problem has come because the prison has not yet got its November funding.
“We are indeed facing numerous challenges here,” he said. “We fail to feed our prisoners as required because we are yet to get our November funding.”