Four people who were recently convicted of being found in possession of human bones suspected to be of a person living with albinism, have been slapped with jail sentence by the Zomba Principal Resident Magistrate Court seating at Phalombe on Friday.
The court has sentenced the four- a woman and three men- to four years imprisonment with hard labour each. The accused were last month convicted by the court after pleading guilty to the charge of Prohibition of Sale of Body or Tissue contrary to Section 16 of the Anatomy Act.
Phalombe police arrested the four namely; Starford Chimenya,45, Kondwani Patrick, 38, Rose Kumpama, 39, and a Mozambican citizen Petro Jezemani, 33, on Monday night of 4th January, 2016 following a tip-off from a businessman the suspects had approached to sell the bones.
They were offering the said human bones for sale to a local businessman at Mitekete trading in the district.
On Friday, Principal Resident Magistrate Gift Dorothy Makanje slapped the four with custodial sentence, saying the offence committed was very serious considering the rise in incidences of albino attacks.
The magistrate observed that being a person with albinism in Malawi has become a challenge because of the behaviour of people like the four.
She, however, said she had considered the fact that they were first offenders and that they pleaded guilty to the charge thereby saving the court’s time.
The bones, which are eight in number, were certified by medical practitioners from Phalombe Health Centre to be of a human being.