High Court acquits two men held 12 years at Chichiri Prison without trial

Prisons in Malawi have been registering high numbers of inmates beyond the facilities’ capacity prompting the High Court in Blantyre to clear two men of murder charges following their prolonged stay on remand.

The two, Steven Edward aged 30 and David Alufisha aged 26 were arrested in 2007 after being found with clothes of murdered people.

For David, his delinquency was to accept a gift of a shirt and trouser from people he had helped to hire a vehicle for their errands.

Later, it was discovered that the clothes had been obtained through a robbery, where a person was killed at the scene.

Steven’s bad luck, followed after being approached by a clothing vendor from whom he bought clothes of a person who was killed.

However, the well-wisher to David and the vendor who sold clothes to Steven were released a few days later after being identified.

The two were left in the desert of justice uncertainties, as they could not have afford a lawyer to represent them in court.

Community of Saint Egidio through their legal clinic challenged David and Steven’s prolonged stay without going for trials.

Lawyer Alexious Kamangira from the legal clinic, said the 12 year stay of Steven and Davide was a violation of their human right.

“We know a lot of people are rotting in prison on remand (awaiting trial) and the situation gets worse with those answering murder charges whose maximum sentence in death,” said Kamangira.

He further urged citizens in Malawi to be supporting people that face injustice in the country’s prisons.

The two men have applauded the Community of Saint Egidio for legal support that has freed them to their respective homes.

Edward hails from Kwamba Village, Traditional Authority (T.A) Likoswe in Chiradzulu District while Alufisha comes from Chokolo Village, T.A. Tengani in Nsanje District.