By Synd Kalimbuka
The High Court in Blantyre on Thursday found five people guilty of the murder of a person with albinism, MacDonald Masambuka, in Machinga district.
Seven other people have also been convicted of offences relating to the murder of Masambuka.
Catholic Priest Fr. Thomas Muhosha, Police Officer Chikondi Chileka, deceased’s biological brother Kassim White Masambuka and Machinga district Clinical Officer Lumbani Kamanga are among the persons convicted on different charges such as murder, causing someone to commit a crime, causing another person to harm a person, transacting human tissues and transacting business on human tissues among 7 counts leveled against them.
The five found guilty of murder are Maxwell Matchina Sosola, Cassim White Masambuka, Dickson Manesi Ndengu, Bashir Lilongwe and Alfred Yohane.
The incident took place in 2018 when Masambuka went missing in March and his body was later found buried in April 2018.
Presiding the judgement at Blantyre High Court, Judge Dorothy Nyakaunda Kamanga found all the suspects guilty based on evidence brought by State Prosecution team.
She, however, set 31st May, 2022 as the date for sentencing.
All the accused persons pleaded not guilty in the beginning but the court found them with cases to answer. Hearing on the matter was concluded in February 2020.
The court also dismissed the claim by one of the convicts Alfred Yohane who implicated former President Peter Mutharika and Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba during one of the court sessions saying he wanted to divert attention of the court away from real issues.
In an interview with Malawi24 after the judgement, Director of Public Prosecution Steven Kayuni expressed satisfaction with the conviction considering that the case involved a priest, a police officer, medical personnel and a biological brother.
Defence team led by Director of Malawi Legal Aid Bureau Masauko Chamkakala prayed for the court order to release of a vehicle and cellphones belonging to one of the convicts Lumbani Kamanga since the state did not use them as evidence and there was no mention of them in the conviction ruling.
In response to that, Kayuni said he will address the issue on sentencing day.