Court clears eight Mzimba mass grave suspects

High Court in Mzuzu

Tadikira Mafubza, the stepson of former Malawi president Peter Mutharika, and seven other people have been cleared by the High Court in Mzuzu of killing thirty Ethiopian nationals whose bodies were discovered in a mass grave in Mzimba.

The bodies of thirty unidentified Ethiopian nationals were found buried in a mass grave in Mtangatanga Forest, Mzimba District, in October 2022. 

On the suspicion that they were involved in the death, police then arrested Samuel Navaya, David Luhanga, Thomas Kazembe, Duncan Kalulu, Boniface Ngulube, Aubrey Dukes, Arnold Mwakiyelu, and Tadikila Mafubza. 

The eight were then charged with manslaughter and trafficking in persons, charges they fiercely rejected, forcing the state to parade several witnesses. 

However, because the state failed to present enough evidence, High Court Judge Justice Gladys Gondwe cleared the eight suspects on Wednesday afternoon, June 18, 2024. The state witnesses, according to the judge, were not consistent. 

Consequently, Justice Gondwe has also mandated that the State return motor vehicles that were seized on suspicion of being used to transport the victims to their rightful owners. 

Gilbert Khonyongwa, the defence attorney, has expressed his satisfaction with the verdict to the local media. However, he hastily added that he anticipated the outcome.


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