Malawi Police have arrested a ruling Democrtaic Progressive Party (DPP) constituency governor for Phalombe North West Patrick Chinawa and two others as part of on-going investigations to find out what happened to 12-year-old albino teenager Joseph Kachingwe who went missing on after attending independence day celebrations on 6 July.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera told Nyasa Times that the three suspects join the teenager’s mother, stepfather, aunt and two uncles who were arrested last week.
Said Kadadzera: “I don’t know [the suspects] political positions but what I know is that we have arrested eight individuals who we strongly believe know something as far as the missing boy is concerned.”
The suspects are the mother Mary Nankhuku (43), the stepfather Humprey Elia (29), Beaton Tabwali (63), EniphatChinawa (35), Patrick Chinawa (38), Julius Mkhwayi (31), Steve Chauma (32) and Joseph Mankhokwe (42).
A source close to the investigations told Nyasa Times that the stepfather confessed to abducting and killing the teenager but the boy whom he implicated deny any involvement.
But Kadadzera said investigations are on-going as neither the boy nor his remains have been found.
“Police are working tooth and nail to bring all the culprits to light and end this barbaric act of terrorising people with albinism in Malawi,” he said.
Meanwhile, the case was on Monday committed to the High Court where the suspects took their pleas on charges of conspiracy and kidnapping/abducting with intent to murder.
Malawi has experienced a spike in violent attacks on people with albinism over the past four years.
In many cases those with albinism are targeted for their body parts to be used in witchcraft.
The genetic hereditary disorder causes a partial or total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes — as a result albinos often experience eye problems and have a heightened risk of skin cancer.
In a June 28 report, rights group Amnesty International said that since November 2014 there have been 148 crimes reported against people with albinism that have claimed at least 21 lives.
Just 30 percent of those attacks have been properly investigated, according to official statistics, with only one murder and one attempted murder case successfully prosecuted.
Of the 600 cases of violence against albinos in 28 African countries, Malawi accounted for nearly a third.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :