Kotanna was killed by cocaine-laced termik, argues AG Nyirenda


Attorney General (AG) Thabo Chakaka Nyirenda has argued that 23-year-old Kotanna Chidyaonga died due to temik which was laced with cocaine.

Nyirenda has made the argument in his defence submissions following a lawsuit by Kotanna’s former boyfriend Timothy Ntilosanje who is demanding K300 million from the Malawi

Ntilosanje said in his lawsuit ,Mz that the arrest was malicious and the state lacked sufficient reasonable and probable cause for the arrest since there was no evidence linking Ntilosanje to the death of his girlfriend Kotanna.

He also argued that the arrest damaged his reputation as a digital marketer, brand strategist and businesspersons.

According to Platform for Investigative Journalism, Nyirenda in his 133-page defence submissions has said he will prove before the courts that Kotanna died of temik poisoning.

“The defendant…herein above states that the defendant will at trial show that the death of the deceased was due to temik that was laced in cocaine and that the claimant was party to such unlawful conduct,” Nyirenda says in the defence papers, according to PIJ.

He adds that Ntilosanje and his colleagues were the last persons seen with the Kotanna and as such there was probable and reasonable cause for prosecuting them.

“According to the doctrine of last seen alive which shifts the burden on an accused person to explain and account for the last movements of the deceased, where is it determined that the deceased was last seen alive in their company, the Police had reasonable grounds for arresting the claimant,” the AG’s writes in his defence submissions.

When Ntilosanje filed his lawsuit earlier this year, Nyireda said it will be “a trial of the century” which will reveal a lot of hidden truth.”

In early January 2020, Kotanna, Ntilosanje as well as Diana Bhagwanji were at Ntilosanje’s house in Area 3 in Lilongwe.

However, when the trio stepped out of the house, Kotanna reportedly stepped on a snake and she was bitten by the snake before it was killed by a security guard.

The 23-year-old was rushed to Poly Care Clinic for treatment and later to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) where efforts to resuscitate her proved futile.

Pathologist, Dr. Charles Dzamalala, conducted an autopsy which found that Kotanna did not die from the snake bite but due to temik poison. This led to the arrests of Ntilosanje, Diana Bhagwanji, Gilbert Kamaliza and his girlfriend Ekaree Daniela Chiweza.

A report by another pathologist Dr Steve Kamiza challenged Dzamalala’s findings saying they were not solid enough to conclude that Chidyaonga’s death was a case of homicide.

In August, 2020, High Court Judge Thomson Ligowe acquitted the four saying the state had failed to prove that they murdered Chidyaonga.

Last year, the Medical Council of Malawi (MCM) established that it was the veruconium bromide administered at Poly Care Clinic that led to Kotanna’s death on 4 January, 2020.

The council issued a warning to Dzamalala saying the forensic pathology report he issued is inconsistent with standard practice for performing and issuing forensic pathology report.

The council also suspended Dr Ruth Chimutu for three months for mistakenly administering veruconium bromide to Kotanna when she was taken to Poly Care Clinic following a snake bite.

Earlier this year, the Poisons, and Medicines Regulatory Authority (PMRA), also slapped PolyCare Clinic pharmacist Rafick Mustaphar with a six-month suspension for negligence.

According to PIJ, Nyirenda has said that he will prove before the court that Ntilosanje and his friends consciously sought anti-venom based on a fictitious snake bite as an antidote for the cocaine/temik mixture overdose and this led to wrong medical prescription at PolyCare Private Clinic.

Meanwhile, Mchizi has told the PIJ that the AG is merely doing his job.

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