Albino killers in Nkhata Bay charged with ‘genocide’ offence

The High Court seating in Nkhata Bay district on Friday charged suspects in the murder case of Yasin Phiri, with a second offence of genocide in addition to the murder charges laid against them.

An artist’s impression of a court proceeding

The lead counsel, Chimwemwe Chithope Mwale, asked the court for the amendment of the case to include the charges of genocide in line with section 105 of the laws of Malawi.

Speaking in an interview, Mwale said the state is of the view that the acts of killing people with albinism are intended to wipe out the race of the particular kind of people, in this case the people with albinism.

“Indeed this is the first time we are charging the accused persons with genocide but this is an offence which is provided for by the Laws of Malawi and this is the new approach that we are taking in such issues,” explained Mwale.

Justice Dorothy De Gabriel agreed to include the charge of genocide, however, each and every one of the accused persons pleaded not guilty to the offences.

During the court proceedings on the case only three of the twelve state witnesses were paraded remaining with 7 witnesses who will be paraded in the next hearing on August 5, 2019.

Among these witnesses is a child of the deceased, George Banda, 9 who also witnessed the unfortunate brutal murder of his father.

One of the witnesses present, Nyamamzonjoma Banda testified to the court that he witnessed George Banda identifying Frank Kweni as one of the people who killed his father at Nkhata Bay Police station where he had escorted him to confirm the Police investigation.

“When we reached the police station the police officer asked George to identify his father’s killer among the group of people who were lined up and he identified Kweni,

The police repeated the exercise three times while changing Kweni’s clothes and position but the child still insisted on holding Kweni’s hand,” explained Banda in a jam packed court.

Being young and still in school George as one of the most important witnesses in this case was not present at the court which further influenced the decision of the Judge to adjourn the case to the fifth of August to avoid disturbing the child from school.

Among the suspects are;  Ceaser Banda, Lawrence Theu Kalua, Bonzo Banda, Frank Kweni, Gwera Banda, Peter Paula, Francis Kaluwa all from Nkhata Bay District.

Suspected murderers have been remanded to Nkhata Bay prison.

The 54-year-old Yasin Phiri was brutally murdered on the New Year eve, of 31st December, 2018, in the presence of his 9 year old son at Kande in Nkhata Bay.

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2 years ago

Why overcharging them… we really want them punished or it’s a way of letting them go free

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