The Malawi Legal Aid Bureau says it will revamp it’s toll-free line service in 38 police stations across the country, to be used freely by apprehended individuals.
The project’s launch took place at Kanengo police station in Lilongwe where Chief Legal Aid Advocate for the Central region, Bwighane Mwenifumbo said they saw the need to do the initiative as many individuals need legal aid but they fail to do so because of the unavailability of phones.
“One of the areas we are focusing on is to reach out to those people who do not have access to private legal practitioners to make calls and seek legal aid even when in police custody,” she said.
Mwenifumbo added that the availability of toll-free lines will allow relatives of the apprehended individual to seek legal assistance on their behalf.
On his part, General duties officer for Kanengo police station, Kondwani Nyondo said most people who are in the cell are poor and can not have access to a private lawyer hence the initiative is timely as it will assist such individuals.
Meanwhile, the phones have been installed at Kanengo, Nkhotakota, Zomba, Dowa, Machinga, Phalombe, Salima and Mangochi police stations in the first two days and the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation has funded the initiative.