While calls for embattled Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) chairperson Jane Ansah resignation continue to grow, the decision by Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) to dismiss an application by widow to the late Buleya Lule, Charity, asking for private prosecution of seven police officers implicated in her husband’s murder in police custody, dominates the news agenda.
The country’s only two daily newspapers on Tuesday featured the story that top prosecutor Mary Kachale has stated hat justice will be served best when the matter is handled by the office of the DPP which almost always prosecutes homicide cases.
In a front page, the Daily Times wrote: “Government snubs Buleya Lule’s wife” while The Nation wrote: “DPP dismisses Lule family request for prosecution.”
Both papers highlited the decision of the top prosecutor following the application of Lule family through lawyer Jivason Kadzipatike seeking consent to prosecute the matter after noting that since Lule’s death in February 2019, the State has not pursued justice in the matter.
The family also cited failure by Malawi Police Service (MPS) to arrest and dismiss from service the seven suspects—Superintendent Paul Chipole, Sub-inspector Ikram Malata, Central Region Police Headquarters Acting Commissioner Evalista Chisale, Inspector Ronnex Kapesa and Inspector Mervin Gama, as another reason for the application.
But the papers cited DPP’s response dated June 28 2019, which has turned down the request, stating that justice will be served best when the matter is handled by the office of the DPP which almost always prosecutes homicide cases.
“For this reason, please assure your client that justice will be pursued by this office on the matter of the death of Mr. Buleya Lule in accordance with the law by our directorate.
“With full recognisance of the independence conferred on the Inspector General of Police by the Constitution, I will engage the MPS regarding the current status of the investigation. Consequently, your request has not been granted,” Kachale said in the letter.
Lawyer Kadzipatike said they will consult their client to map the way forward but according to Times they would continue pursuing the matter in which Lule’s widow is demanding K250 million compensation from the government.
Lule was one of the suspects in the abduction of Goodson Makanjira, a 14-year-old boy with albinism from Dedza. Lule allegedly offered to buy the boy, who is still missing, for K800 000. The suspect died at the hands of police after he appeared in court once, where he denied the charge.
A forensic autopsy report issued by independent pathologist Charles Dzamalala showed that Buleya Lule died from electrocution.
This was in contrast to an earlier autopsy commissioned by MPS which claimed Lule had died of natural causes.
Following an investigation into the incident, the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) in its report recommended that Police IG Rodney Jose should urgently institute criminal investigations of all police officers who handled the deceased from February 18 to 20 2019 for justice sake.The Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) also demanded immediate action from Jose.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :