On friday, 2nd june 2017,Malawi Bail Project (MBP) under Centre for Human Rights Education Advice and Assistance (CHREAA) organized a ‘camp court’ that was facilitated by the Blantyre Child Justice sitting at Bvumbwe Young Offender Prison, releasing total of 8 young offenders who had overstayed on remand for various offences.
Second Grade Magistrate Euphrasia Moyo and Magistrate Angella Dossi reviewed 18 cases whose warrants had overstayed and expired. Out of 18 young offenders that went before the court at that time 3 were discharged 5 were released on bail and 10 were adjourned for further hearing due to other circumstances pertaining to their cases.
Among the young offenders who were given bail, a 17 year old boy Pangison Kafose was very relieved to have been granted bail since he has been at the prison since 16th December 2016. He claimed to have appeared in court once and was then denied access to bail because his witnesses were a no show during the court session. He was glad that his nightmare finally came to an end. Pangison was in school before he got arrested and with this opportunity of accessing bail he says he is ready and set to continue with his education.
In the same events, a 22 year old Frank Fred was also released from prison. He was not listed for camp court but his case had overstayed. He was arrested when he was 16 years old with offences of house breaking contrary to section 309(a) and theft contrary to section (278) Of the Malawi penal code. He stole a DVD player. The then Child Justice court that was sitting at Zomba ordered Mr. Fred on 12th December 2013 to be sent to reformatory centre to be kept there until released on the recommendations of the Child Case Review Board. Mr. Fred explained that he was sent to Chirwa Reformatory Centre where served two years, then he was later transferred to Bvumbwe Young Offender Prison where he continued to do so and no one came to update him concerning his per given order. Yesterday he pleaded with the Magistrates to consider his case. The Magistrates reviewed his case and Mr. Fred was finally released.
MBP organizes these camp courts with aim to expedite justice delivery particularly to those with minor offences, whose remand warrants expired, overstayed or accused sickly.