Ministry of Justice, Prison Service launch 5 year Strategic PlansNov 8, 2016
The Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and the Malawi Prisons Service (MPS) on 3rd November 2016 jointly launched their five year strategic plans which have been aligned to the Democratic Governance Sector Strategy.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Honourable Samuel Tembenu, SC hailed the UNDP and European Union for supporting democratic governance activities of which the development of the strategic plan for the Ministry is part.
“The alignment of these strategic plans constitutes a move by the Government and stakeholders to generate coordinated pathways to desired goals in the sector, in attempting to develop and strengthen the democratic governance sector,” said Honourable Tembenu, SC. At the launching ceremony.
He said the core objective of democratic governance is to optimise public service delivery and make justice, transparency and accountability a reality.
“The expectations of ordinary people are simple: public goods and service delivered; conflicts resolved; injustices addressed; rights protected; criminals punished, and victims assisted to repair the damage caused to them and restore their lives. The process through which justice is administered must be trustworthy, independent, transparent, effective, efficient, swift and fair,” the minister added.
He said beyond its alignment to the democratic governance sector strategy, the Ministry’s strategic plan also aligns itself to Malawi’s priorities as espoused in the Malawi Public Sector Reforms and other strategic documents as well as the sustainable development goals (SDGs) that world leaders adopted in September 2015.
On the importance of coordination, Honourable Tembenu, SC acknowledged the independence of institutions in the democratic governance sector, but called on them to appreciate how their interaction complement each other, guaranteeing the defence of the rights and legitimate interests of citizens.
On his part, the Deputy Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Honorable Aggrey Masi under whose ministry the MPS falls, said as an institution under democratic governance sector the MPS needed to align its Strategic Plan to the Democratic Governance Sector Strategy (DGSS) and the Democratic Governance Sector Policy Framework Paper (PFP) which are the over-arching umbrella documents.
Honourable Masi said just as is the case with the Malawi Judiciary and Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, the role of the prisons in effective delivery of criminal justice is important. He said MPS will ensure it adheres to democratic principles and values on which the Malawi Constitution is founded.
“The Malawi Prisons Service Strategic Plan launched today reflects the aspirations, principles and values of the Malawian society on how they want their fellow Malawians in prisons to be treated,” said the Deputy Minister, adding that the Strategic Plan addresses challenging issues currently facing the prisons such as inadequate legal and policy framework; poor and inadequate infrastructures, poor nutrition, health and sanitary conditions, and shortcomings in rehabilitation and reformation of offenders.
The United Nation’s Food and Agricultural Organisation Resident Representative in Malawi, Ms. Florence Rolle who represented the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in Malawi, Ms. Mia Seppo at the joint launch of the two strategic plans, said well-functioning governance institutions and a government, bound by the rule of law, are important ingredients for inclusive economic, political, and social development.
“The two strategic plans represent a strong and very clear indication of the robust partnerships between the Government and people of Malawi and the International Community and the United Nations to all work together to further strengthen democratic governance in Malawi,” said Ms. Rolle saying access to justice, respect for human rights and the rule of law are essential to strengthen state accountability around the provision of quality services, and development for all.
She said the two strategic plans reinforce the pledge made by the UN Member States at the adoption of SDGs on leaving no one behind, focusing on the most marginalised and those left furthest behind.
The Solicitor General and Secretary for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Dr. Janet Banda, SC, noted that the Ministry of Justice’s Strategic Plan sets out a clear direction for effective and efficient performance as well as delivery of quality services to Malawians focusing on improved access to justice; increased efficiency and effectiveness of Justice delivery systems; improved institutional capacity of the Ministry; improved access to laws of Malawi; improved Case Management System and; enhanced coordination in the democratic governance sector.
The overarching goals of the MPS strategic plan are; enhance public security through safe and humane custody of offenders; create conducive environment for enhanced offender rehabilitation services in prisons; expand and improve offender reformation programmes strengthen institutional, socio-economic and infrastructure development; establish and roll out effective community re-integration of offenders and mainstream cross cutting issues of HIV and AIDS, gender and climate change.