Four acquitted in Kottana Chidyaonga murder case


The High Court in Lilongwe has found four suspects with no case to answer over the death of 23-year-old Kottana Chidyaonga.

The four are Chidyaonga’s boyfriend Timothy Mtilosanje as well as Ekari Chaweza, Gilbert Kamaliza and Diana Bhagwanji.

High Court Judge Thomson Ligowe said the state has failed to prove that the four murdered Chidyaonga.

Chidyaonga died on 4th January this year, reportedly after being bitten by a snake. However, an autopsy by Pathologist Dr Charles Dzamalala found that she died due to poisoning.

Mtilosanje (in brown suit) after being acquitted

According to the report, Bhagwanji, Mtilosanje and Chidyaonga were at Mtilosanje’s house in Area 3 where they took some alcohol before deciding to leave the place for a pub in town.

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

Chidyaonga complained of itching on the right foot and lightheadedness. She was rushed to Polyclinic for treatment and later to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where efforts to resuscitate her proved futile.

According to Dzamalala, the attending clinician at KCH could not convince herself that there was a snake bite wound on the late Kottana’s foot.

Kottana Maria

During the autopsy, Dr Dzamalala also discovered that there was no evidence of snake bite.

He concluded that Chidyaonga died from unnatural causes. following acute poisoning with a pesticide called Termik

“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.

But another pathologist Dr Steve Kamiza challenged findings of the autopsy. He argued that Dzamalala’s results are not solid enough to conclude that Chidyaonga’s death was a case of homicide.