President Peter Mutharika’s special aide Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba has for the second time been implicated in the murder case of a person with albinism Macdonald Masambuka by Chikondi Chileka a police officer who conducted investigations into abductions and killings of persons of albinism.
Chileka is one of the suspects in the murder case and told the High Court that he was implicated because he once conducted investigations into the matter when he served as police officer at Mselema Police Post in Machinga.
Testifying in the High Court in Blantyre on Thursday, Chileka implicated Ntaba the second time after another suspect Alfred Yohane also named him.
When Ntaba was first implicated, the matter was being held in Zomba registry of High Court before Judge Zione Ntaba and she opted out of the case because the presidential aide is her uncle, citing a conflict of interest in the case.
The matter was transferred to Blantyre and is being heard before Judge Dorothy NyKaunda Kamanga.
Chileka told the court that National Police Headquarters under the Anti-Organised Crime Department instituted a police task force, which he was part of, to find the market and pattern of bones for people with albinism.
He said as part of his probe, he interacted with people including Catholic priest Fr Thomas Muhosha – also a suspect in the case – to establish how the business was conducted.
“On 25th July 2016, I released the report with names if people involved in the business,” said Chileka.
He told the court among people in the list include Hetherwick Ntaba and some high profile politicians serving in the current administration as being behind the attacks, abductions and killings of people with albinism in the country.
When pressed by lawyer Leah Masowa from Legal Aid Bureau, to mention the other names, Chileka said former Machinga Central legislator, traditional leader and a Machinga businessperson were among the accomplices.
During the testimony of Yohane previously, he also mentioned Ntaba and stressed that he would not change his statements even if he is ‘beheaded’, saying he stands for the truth.
However, apart from Ntaba there other “big fishes” in the matter but there is a gag order from court not to mention them.
The matter has been adjourned to January 21 2020 when Chileka will proceed with his defence.
In January this year, the court found Muhosha and 12 others with a case to answer.
The body of Masambuka, 22, who hailed from Nakawa Village, Traditional Authority Nkoola in Machinga, was found buried on April 1 2018 after he was reported missing in March the same year.
Besides Muhosha and Yohane, the suspects include Masambuka’s brother Cassim White Masambuka who faces three charges of murder, trafficking in persons and causing another person to harm a person with disability.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :