Zambia and Malawi have exchanged their nationals who were incarcerated in correctional centres of their respective countries for various crimes.
Nine inmates who were incarcerated in Malawi were handed over to Zambia while Zambia transferred 30 Malawian nationals who were in Zambia’s correctional facilities.
The transfer of inmates was done at Mwami Border and witnessed by Zambia Correctional Service Deputy Commissioner, Paul Simasiku.
The inmates will now complete their jail sentences in their respective countries.
Receiving the Zambian nationals during the exchange exercise, Mr Simasiku thanked the Malawian government for releasing the incarcerated Zambians to authorities in their home country.
He said exchanging inmates to serve in their country of origin will ease the reintegration process once they complete their sentences.
Mr Simasiku also hoped that the transfer of inmates inspires other countries to undertake the exchange of convicted persons and also abide by the modern management of correctional centres.
He further appreciated the existence of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Malawi with regard to the transfer of inmates.
“The inmate transfer exchanges between our two countries have been conducted at different levels since the first Ministerial exchange, which took place in 2013. Therefore, this clearly demonstrates a commitment by the Zambian and Malawian governments to upholding the rights of inmates as stipulated in our respective Transfer of Convicted Persons Acts,” he explained.
And the inmates have been advised to observe maximum discipline as they continue to serve the remainder of their sentences.
“It will be so disappointing for you to abuse the opportunity you have been accorded of serving your custodial sentence in your country of origin. Utilise this opportunity to learn more life skills now that some of your challenges may be reduced considering that you will be closer to your homes and family,” Mr Simasiku said.
“Rather let this closeness with your families be an opportunity to create impetus for future family re-integration,” he added.
And Malawi Prisons Service Commissioner In-Charge of Operations, Wiscot Masauko said the continued exchange of inmates exhibits the cordial relationship between the two countries.
He added that the exchange of inmates is a significant undertaking in correctional management as it offers the opportunity for effective rehabilitation when offenders are taken closer to their communities and relations.
“In a way, this reduces reoffending and subsequent overcrowding of facilities based on the family tie-up concept. The importance of this arrangement therefore cannot be overemphasised. It is for that reason that this exercise will continue and we pray to have these undertakings regularly and as when the need arises,” he said.