Court adjourns Joseph Kachingwe murder case, discharges one suspect

Albinos Malawi

The High Court of Malawi sitting in Phalombe has adjourned the case in which six people are answering a case of abducting a boy with albinism in Phalombe who is believed to have been killed.

The boy with albinism, Joseph Kachingwe aged 12, went missing on 6th July last year when he went for independence celebrations with his friends around Chiteketsa trading centre in the area of traditional authority Jenala.

The six are identified as Patrick Chinawa, Eniphat Chinawa, Biton Tambwali, Steven Chauma, Julius Mkhwayi and Joseph Mankhokwe who are the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth accused persons respectively in this case.

Eight people were arrested in connection with the case and the state applied that two of the accused, Humphrey Eliya and Mary Nankhuku, who are the stepfather and biological mother of the victim respectively should have their case heard separately.

The two are accused of murder and their case before Judge Justice Sylvester Kalembera who is expected to deliver his judgment on this matter on 25th day of the month of April this year.

When the court convened in November last year, defence counsel representing second, fourth and sixth accused persons, Luciano Mikeyasi, applied that the case against these six should be heard before another judge which the court in its ruling agreed.

The case is now before Justice Maclean Kamwambe and on Tuesday (Yesterday) when the court convened he asked the state to provide him with the charge sheet for the accused persons of which then State prosecutor Samuel Chisanga did not.

In his response, Chisanga applied for an adjournment saying the charge sheet is subject to be amended depending on the outcome of the case which is before Justice Kalembera.

“My Lord, the commencement of the case against these six accused persons will depend on the outcome of the case which is under Justice Kalembera and the charge sheet is subject to be amended.

“It’s my plea that this case should be adjourned up until the case against Eliya and Mary is finished,” said Chisanga.

Then he said later that the state shall ask the court that the sixth accused shall be tried on his own not with the other five which made Mikeyasi to ask the court to discharge the accused and the third accused who was the only suspect on remand saying it has shown that the state has no evidence on the matter.

“My Lord, I am asking that the sixth accused should be discharged from this matter since the state has shown that has no evidence to prove their case and the third accused who is the only suspect remaining in the custody should be released on the bail, you can see that he is the old man who is supposed to enjoy life of his last days,” he said.

The state agreed with this saying that Mankhokwe who is a business person in Zomba should be discharged since discharge is not the same as acquittal and the state shall summon him whenever they want him within the next 12 months and that his case will be send back to police for further investigations.

In his ruling, Justice Kamwambe granted bail to Tambwali who had no legal representation at the time when his friends were released on bail and now he is being represented by the legal aid bureau and he also discharged Mankhokwe.

Kamwambe then adjourned the case to 13th May 2019 and he asked the state to provide the charge sheet before this scheduled date.