Malawi girl comes back from the dead: Two families fight over ownership, demand DNA test

Barely two days after a certain family from Joshua village, in the area of Traditional Authority Nsamala in Malawi’s southern district of Balaka claimed that their daughter who died on 28th March 2013 has resurrected, a tug of war has ensued after another family claims that the girl is their daughter who went missing on 11th April, 2013.

Balaka Police spokesperson sub inspector Joseph Sauka told Nyasa Times that the law enforcers received a report that a 17-year-old Janet Chingawa who died mysteriously on 28th March, after she drowned in Rivirivi river was found alive at Manjawira area.

“The girl is said to have gone for bathing together with her relatives only to be drowned under mysterious circumstances a development that led family members to go to a witch doctor to establish the cause of the mysterious death who probably told them that the girl will resurrect,” says Sauka.

But on 13th April, 2013, Sauka says, a certain girl was found loitering at Manjawira Trading Centre and members of Full Gospel Church took her and started praying for her.girl no face

“When some people from Joshua village saw her, they told the church members that the girl was Janet  who passed away on 28th March was buried a day later. They then informed Janet’s parents who identified her as their daughter”.

Sauka says the parents took the girl to Assemblies of God Church for prayers and later reported the issue to police who took pictures of the girl.

“But just after two days, the Chambayani family went to the police to make a follow up on the whereabouts of their relative a 24 year-old Alice Chambayani, who went missing on 11th April, 2013. In fact they were earlier told to report again to the police after a week if they don’t trace their relative for further action.

“But after showing them the pictures of the claimed resurrected girl, a brother to the missing girl, Alex Chambayani recognised her as his sister Alice but only that he said the clothes she was wearing were different from the ones she wore the day she went missing”.

Sauka says Alex revealed that his sister was also of unsound mind and that on the day she went missing, she wore a black skirt, dye blouse and a piece of the opposition United Democratic Front cloth [a dressing which some people said she wore when she was found at Manjawira before she was taken care of by members of Full Gospel Church].

“Then the police led the Chambayani family to the parents who were claiming that the girl was their child who has resurrected. And the resurrected girl was later given to the Chambayani family who brought evidence including St. Egidio members of the Roman Catholic Church who said have been looking after Alice and that they even constructed a house for her. The surrounding community also agreed that the girl was Alice Chambayani,” says Saukila.

According to Saukila this did not please the Chingawa family who later stormed Balaka Police claiming that the girl is their child who has resurrected and demanded for DNA test.

“But the problem is that they are denying the suggestions by the police to exhume the body for verification and tests”, says Sauka.

The Chambayani family comes from Mponda village, Traditional Authority Nsamala in Balaka district while Chingawa family comes from Joshua village, Traditional Authority Nsamala in the same district of Balaka.

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