CHREAA asks Chakwera to consider releasing elderly enemies

By Burnett Munthali

Centre for Human Rights, Education, Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) has asked President Lazarus Chakwera to consider releasing some elderly inmates from the country’s prisons during the forthcoming Independence Day Celebrations on July 6.

In a statement, the organisation’s executive director, Victor Mhango pleads for the release of Chafika Ndege, George Billiat, Wyson Khululupi, Zathyoka Thalipezi and Bamusi Bendulo.

All the five were on death penalty  before president commuted their sentences.

“These individuals do not pose any danger to the society. They are all first offenders and evidence points to their innocence,” reads part of the statement.

The statement further argues the five have medical conditions yet no adjustments have been made to accommodate their health concerns.

During recent Easter celebrations, Chakwera pardoned 49 prisoners across the country’s correctional facilities.

Photo shows some elderly inmates at Zomba Central Prison Elderly section.

Elderly inmates often experience challenges that their younger counterparts do not, such as health issues, difficulty accessing health care, a lack of programming, navigating an environment that is not designed for aging individuals, and challenges related to post-release, such as securing adequate housing.

People in prisons and jails are disproportionately likely to have chronic health problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, and HIV, as well as substance use and mental health problems.

Make sure older inmates receive all medical, dental and mental health services. They require more assistive services than their younger peers. Get to know them. By doing so, you will be more likely to notice changes in behavior and appearance, which may be indicators of dementia and depression.