Govt ignore to rescue Malawian under ‘torture’ in South Sudan

The Government of Malawi has ignored calls to rescue a Malawian citizen (name withheld) currently detained in South Sudan’s Juba Central Prison where he is allegedly being tortured by the notorious National Security Service (NSS).

Juba Central Prison

The Malawian national has been in prison for about 15 months on allegations that he misappropriated funds for his company – just five months after been recruited.

Concerned with reports of torture Amnesty International (AI) wrote the two governments; Malawi and South Sudan demanding a probe into allegations of torture and to ensure that the suspect is accorded speedy trial as his long detention amounts to human rights violation.

Both Malawi and South Sudan have not responded to Amnesty International’s call to investigate the matter neither is there speedy trial.

The Malawian was arrested in October 2018 in Kigali, Rwanda in transit to Malawi, on allegations that he misappropriated company funds amounting to $730 000 (over K500 million). He denies the charges.

The suspect was working as finance manager for an oil company—Trinity Energy Limited—which has another Malawian, former chief executive officer for National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) Robert Mdeza as chief executive officer.

When contacted, Mdeza confirmed the arrest, but could not respond to further questions, including allegations of torture, saying the matter was in court.

Both the suspect and his lawyer refused to be named, citing security concerns in South Sudan.

The lawyer alleges that his client has been in ill-health due to the torture, which includes beating, starvation and denied access to medical services at the hands of South Sudanese National Security Service (NSS), “to force him admit charges he denies”.

“Throughout the time the suspect has spent in the custody of the NSS, he has reportedly been subjected to beatings. AI is especially concerned about the role of the NSS, whose use of torture and other ill-treatment against detainees has been well documented by AI and other organisations,” said Vongai Chikwanda, AI southern Africa campaigner.

Both United Nations Development Programme (UNDP-Malawi) and AI say they have engaged both governments to ensure speedy trial for the suspect and that allegations of torture are investigated.

Apart from torture, the international rights groups are also concerned that the suspect has appeared in court more than once without meaningful hearing, usually due to excuses from the State.

In one email Ministry of Foreign and International Cooperation legal team indicated that the government of Malawi would send its envoy either from Kenya or Tanzania to visit the suspect in prison and this was last year May but nothing has happened so far.

In another email in November last year, the Ministry apologized to the family that government was unable to send an envoy due to financial challenges.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesperson Rejoice Chaponda Shumba is on record to have said government has not intervened yet because it lacks evidence and cannot act  on what she called “hearsays”.

“We have advised the family what to do in order to obtain accurate information on this matter and in a manner that does not jeopardise the safety and interest of our citizen who is in detention,” said Chaponda.

While government is in doubt both Amnesty International, whose legal team has been meeting with the suspect, and UNDP Malawi confirm about reports of torture. But reacting to the Malawi Government position, Chikwanda said the allegations of torture are sufficient for a government to ask another government to independently investigate the allegations.

“It is sad that our government does not seem willing to help. Who can help then? We have tried every means to have him tried fairly but nothing is happening so far. Each time he goes to court there is an excuse; one time the state did not turn up for lack of fuel and on another day the judge was reportedly sick and now we are told the judge is on holiday. We are worried of his future under such torturous conditions” said a desperate family member.

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Nzika
Guest
Nzika

Akuti government has financial challenges, koma zopangira bribe ma judge zikupezeka kutapa, kutaya!

Jemusi
Guest
Jemusi

THIS GOVERNMENT IS USELESS. IT DOES NOT KNOW HOW TO TAKE CARE OF ITS CITIZENS. WHY CAN’T FOREIGN AFFAIRS INVESTIGATE THE ISSUE

Jemusi
Guest
Jemusi

THE STORY IS NOT ADDING UP. HOW DID HE FOUND HIMSELF IN SOUTH SUDAN WHEN HE WAS ARRESTED IN KIGALI

masa masina
Guest
masa masina

He stole money from wrong people at the wrong time. Lessons for all money hungry thieves who think that the only way up is stealing.

COPS
Guest
COPS

What happened to “Innocent until PROOVEN guilty” ? you dunder head masa masina.

Nicolous
Guest
Nicolous

Help the man . Stupid Tippex government

Evaristo
Guest
Evaristo

South Sudan is not for joke. Sad for our brother in prison

Nalingula
Guest
Nalingula

My advice to the Family …The only person who has Connections in Sudan and Can assist on this is Bushiri …..Even America used the Rev Jesse Jackson at one time to Negotiate Release of Prisoners in some countries because he had contacts there ….Akatobwerako kumeneko khalani nayeni pansi ….Tikumuziwa Khalidwe Lake …..

Graham Zali
Guest
Graham Zali

Kuno wina has beaten the whole judicial system overnight. Malawians pomwe tafika zoti tikaona heaven zokaikitsa.

Nabetha
Guest
Nabetha

when you have k100 Kwacha in your pkt. and you discover one kwacha is missing you spend time to look for it, you leave the k99.00 some where safe and set out to find the one. Where are the Malawi leadership on this? Your job is not for when life is sweet, it is meant for when the citizens are in bondage that you mobilise and assign those in the know how to sort such issues,…. you have heard of delegation or you don’t have to do this yourself all you do is assign those in the know of such… Read more »

Nicolous
Guest
Nicolous

That is why I love America amawakhalira Zika zawo

Lost Coin
Guest
Lost Coin

Where is HRDC here????
Why is Mdeza staying mute???
Malawian culture of jealousy for one another

kanchenga
Guest
kanchenga

Timakuuzani kuti kuba ayi inu basi mwazolowera ku Malawi nkumaba kwaeni ndiye terrorist Mtambo athandize pamene iye akudwala ndi mbabvazo. Asovenge ameneyo. A pumbwa awa alibe nthawi yonthandizira munthu kwawo ndi kupha kuba ndikuononga.