If Matiki Njala aged 84 had money, he could not have rotted in jail for 9 years without justice prevailing on a murder he was suspected to have committed in 2008.
Njala and his co-accused Eliya Kadzombe got arrested after being suspected to have killed their relation in Blantyre.
The two last appeared in court in 2012 and then the case got stuck after the file for the case went missing at the high court.
The accused persons remained in suspense and as years passed, it was becoming a reality that Njala was to die in prison as he needed special care due to his old age.
Being an asthma patient, the condition in prison was unfavourable to his life and having one meal in day, nutritional deficiencies became regular disease that he was suffering.
Years later, Njala’s hope that he is to meet justice started approaching him after a visit by Community of Saint Egeidio through their prison service.
Then the community of Saint Egidio through their lawyer Alexious Kamangila of Mbeta and Company lodged a search of the missing file.
Earlier this year, the court granted bail to the two suspects while search for the case file continued.
“The Court found that, as the burden of proof remained on the prosecution through-out trial to prove the guilty of the accused persons without reasonable doubt, the state had failed the test.
“It further reasoned that as there was no direct evidence hence the state depended on circumstantial evidence, the prosecution needed to establish that the facts were incompatible with the innocence of the accused and incompatible of any other explanation,” said Kamangila in an interview with Malawi24.
He further expressed worry on some cases being delayed in the country saying “Justice delayed is injustice prevailed”.
Speaking after being acquitted, Njala applauded the gesture by the community of Saint Egidio.
“Ndimayesa tsiku ngati lero sindizaliona. Ndasungidwa mndende kwanthawi yaitali popanda chifukwa, ndipo zatengera Umulungu wa Community of Saint Egidio kuti ndipulumuke mu msampha waimfa.
Mulungu adalitse onse omwe atithandiza, makamaka Aleke. Ngakhale tsopano ndili ndi Asthma, kutulukaku kwandipatsa nyonga. Mulungu atamandike.( I never thought that I will be a free man, thanks to St Egidio community, I have been saved from the death trap, though I am an asthma patient I hope that I will be strong again. Thanks to Alexious, God be praised),” said Njala.
As a way of spreading the gospel to the hopeless, the community of Saint Egidio in Blantyre visits prisons every two weeks.