The Lilongwe magistrate court on Tuesday sentenced eight men to six years’ imprisonment with hard labor (IHL) for pleading guilty to an offence of conspiracy to commit murder.
The eight are Jezmond Baluwa, 40 years, Steve Ching`ombe, Isaac Msambalume, Kaluzi Kamangeni, Damison Manyoni (56), Damiano Phiri, 33, and Macdonald Kanyerere,36, all residents of Lilongwe.
The chief suspect in the case Gerald Phiri was already slapped with a 17-year jail term by the Mponela magistrate court after he was found guilty for facilitating the killing of his niece the late Enelesi Nkhata (21 years) who was staying with her grandmother after her parents had divorced.
The court heard that in April 2016, the deceased uncle, Gerald Phiri, agreed with his friend Medison Madzialenga to engage in a business of selling albino bones upon hearing rumors that they fetched a lot of money.
The discussion prompted Phiri to go to Dedza where he had a niece with albinism living with her grandmother whom she took to Dowa where he was staying.
He then communicated to his eight friends who were staying in Area 49 in Lilongwe to come to Madisi in Dowa where they all butchered the young unsuspecting girl in cold blood for her bones.
Speaking in mitigation after pleading guilty to the charge and subsequent conviction, the eight asked the court to exercise lenience when passing judgment piling all the blame on Satan for their evil action.
They also said they found themselves in the evil act because they wanted to find capital to venture into other businesses after getting tired of poverty, before pleading with the court to also consider the fact that they have over-stayed in prison having been remanded in April, 2016.
But state prosecutor assistant superintendent Isaac Kadawayula asked the court to mete out a stiff sentence to the convicts saying what they did was evil and unwelcome behavior in the society.
Making his ruling, principal resident magistrate Patrick Chirwa concurred with the state describing the suspects’ behavior inhumane and against the prevailing norms of society.
He added that people with albinism are also Malawians and have a right to life just as any other person.
He then sentenced the eight men to six years imprisonment with hard labor so as to deter other people from doing the same.
The offence of conspiracy to commit a felony attracts a maximum sentence of Seven years, according to Section 404 of the Penal Code.
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