Family members of murdered person with albinism MacDonald Masambuka and commentators have called for President Peter Mutharika’s adviser Dr Hetherwick Ntaba to resign as chairperson of presidential committee tasked with protecting Malawians living with albinism after being implicated by one of the murder suspects, Alfred Yohane.
Masambuka, 22, a person with albinism, is believed to have been murdered in Machinga and body was found buried on April 1 2018, after he was reported missing in March the same year.
During the trial at Zomba High Court, Yohane implicated Ntaba some high-profile politicians of the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
Trial judge Zione Ntaba on Friday recused herself from the murder case of Masambuka, after her uncle Hetherwick Ntaba is mentioned to have been the one of the people in government who sent the suspect to abduct and kill the person with albinism.
Reacting to the development, the victim’s families outside the court told Nyasa Times that they expect Ntaba to resign and other high profile politicians should also step down and not got to court in ministerial jackets.
Adding his voice on the matter, celebrated writer and commentator Stanley Onjezani Kenani said Ntaba should indeed resign.
“Now that he is being mentioned in courts as one of the people behind the killings he must resign and clear his name and maybe take up the post later,” Kenani commented on social media.
He added: “ This, of course, is a mere allegation, and it is to be presumed that he is innocent until proven guilty, but the mere mention means he can no longer discharge his duties in a way that makes everyone feel comfortable until he has cleared his name.”
Kenani further bemoaned that the justice system in Malawi is “rigged against the poor”, stating that Buleya Lule, a key suspect in the abduction of a boy with albinism, was killed “like a dog” in police custody “at the mere mention of his [Ntaba] name.
“Professor So-and-so and Dr. So-and-so, at the mention of their names in a court of law, a gag order was hastily issued, and the accused was told to shut up,” Kenani wrote in apparent reference with Judge Ntaba’s order to media not to shield the names of high profile ruling party politicians implicated by the suspects.
Malawi, one of the world’s poorest and most aid-dependent countries, has experienced a surge 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.
Albinism, a genetic disorder, causes a partial or total absence of pigmentation in the skin, hair and eyes.
As a result, many albinos often experience eye problems and have a heightened risk of skin cancer.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :