Kottana Maria Chidyaonga was poisoned – Dr Charles Dzamalala

Charles Dzamalala

…says there was no scientific evidence of snake bite…

A final autopsy report by a Forensic Pathologist Dr Charles Dzamalala on the body of 23-year-old Kottana Maria Chidyaonga, who died on 4th January, indicates that she died of acute poisoning with Termik and not a snake bite.

According to the report which Malawi24 has in possession and signed by Dr Dzamalala on Wednesday, there was no evidence that the girl died as a result of a snake bite.

The autopsy, which was done in full view of the relatives and CID Officers at Kamuzu Central Hospital Mortuary on 5th December, indicated that the late Maria Chidyaonga died of unnatural causes.

It has been revealed that when Maria was picked up by her friend Diana Bhagwanji, they apparently went to Chidyaonga’s boyfriend Timmy Mtilo in Area 3 where they took some alcohol before deciding to leave the place for a pub in town for a Friday outing.

However, when the trio stepped out of Mtilo’s house, Maria Chidyaonga reportedly stepped on a snake in the veranda of the house and reported that she was bitten by the snake before it was killed by the security guard.

Moments after the incident, the late Kottana Maria Chidyaonga started feeling itching on the inner medial aspect of the right foot and later on, she complained of experiencing lightheadedness.

It was at this moment that she was rushed to Polyclinic for treatment.

Before conducting the autopsy, Dr Dzamalala unsuccessfully pushed for medical records from the clinic to find out exactly as to what was administered to the girl where she was reportedly convulsed before she was referred to Kamuzu Central Hospital for further treatment.

However, it was revealed that Chidyaonga was believed to have been brought to KCH dead as efforts to resuscitate her proved futile.

“The attending clinician at KCH however became suspicious with the death, as she could not convince herself that there was a snake bite wound on the late Kottana’s foot. She therefore asked Timmy and Diana to bring the snake which had reportedly been killed to the hospital in the night. The snake was indeed brought to the hospital and a cursory search on the body of late Kottana for a related snake bite was still unsuccessful,” reads part of the report.

According to the report, the mysterious death forced the family and relatives of Chidyaonga to report the case to Lilongwe Police Station where the two parties requested for a Forensic postmortem examination in order to establish the exact cause and mode of death.

And during the Autopsy, Dr Dzamalala discovered that there was no evidence of snake bite as there was no visible snake bite fresh wound which could have led to swelling from about quarter of an hour after the incident.

“This death was from unnatural causes. It was due to generalised haemolysis following acute poisoning with a pesticide called Termik, an organosphate compound that is found in many hardware/flee market shops in the country. In human beings, Termik disables the central nervous systems and also leads to haemolysis. Both of these actions are fatal.

“Based on the circumstances surrounding this death, as per the narration above, this incidence of acute poisoning is most probably due to a homicidal act rather than suicidal or accidental act,” Dzamalala said.