State files appeal against murder acquittal in Kottana ‘snake bite’ case

Following High Court in Lilongwe acquittal of four youngsters who were suspected of murdering their friend Kottana Chidyaonga, the State prosecutors are lodging an appeal at the Malawi Supreme Court.

Ekari Daniella Chaweza, Gilbert Kalamiza, Timothy Mtilisanje and Diana Bhagwanji broke down in tears after they walked out of the courtroom.

Judge Thomson Ligowe ruled that despite that a pesticide, Termik, was found in the deceased body, the state did not prove beyond reasonable doubt the time it was injected and who exactly administered the poisonous substance.

“I, therefore, find that that no case has been made out against the accused persons to require them to make their defence.  They are acquitted, “ruled judge Ligowe.

All the four, namely Ekari Daniella Chaweza, Gilbert Kalamiza, Timothy Mtilisanje and Diana Bhagwanji broke down in tears after they walked out of the courtroom.

But Chief State Advocate, Dr. Steven Kayuni leading the prosecution team, described the judgement as travesty of justice and that the ruling of no case to answer is shockingly inappropriate.

Kayuni said there is a serious error in law that has to be corrected.

“It is a travesty of justice. We have carefully read the judgment of the honourable Justice of the High Court, and we respectfully disagree with the findings,” he said.

“There is a serious error in law that needs to be revisited. The State is only allowed to appeal a criminal matter on the point of law. The State will pursue the matter in the Supreme Court of Appeal’s full panel on 7 grounds of appeal,” said Kayuni.

The four accused persons had earlier on told their story as a snake bite and that Kottana had died of venom from a poisonous snake.

The State paraded 13 witnesses including two pathologists, Dr Charles Dzamalala and Professor George Liomba, two medical doctors and a nurse.

Mtilosanje was the deceased’s boyfriend while Bhagwanji was among the friends who were with Chidyaonga on the day she died.

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Onenji
Onenji
8 months ago

I don’t understand why they don’t prosecute the hospital? Didn’t they admit to giving her the wrong medication?

T Banda
T Banda
8 months ago

I wonder if they will have this much force going forward with the Albino case. This is ridiculous. Direct this energy to the real murderers of this country. Our ex president was killing albinos for the love of all things good.

Ashuniva
Ashuniva
8 months ago

Judge Ligoya, mbuzi yamunthu. Judge wausilu kwambiri

Maria Care
Maria Care
8 months ago

I’m just shocked at the level of unprofessionalism in malawi. They did not investigate before detaining these kids? Kayuni is said to be a doctor and lawyer, on what grounds are they appealing? This country will never progress. So embarrassing

Esther
Esther
8 months ago

This is a joke of a case. The state prosecutor clearly has nothing better to do with his time. Facts of the case I’m Court: 1. Dzamalala did the autopsy by himself. None of the accused were even aware or present. This was definitely not transparent and from the looks of it, corrupt as he was paid by former reserve bank governor Dalitso to do the autopsy. He admitted himself in court. Dalitso is relative of Thoko Kaunda- the one who started this whole accusation as he presented himself to the police as Kotannas father and reported the matter. He… Read more »

James
James
8 months ago

Dr Kayuni are you a medical profession? With all the evidence that you’ve recieved you know very well her death was a result of medical malpractice. What a waste of state resources. Why are you protecting the hospital? So that this may happen again to yet another person? Who are you protecting? Dzamalala? Why does this man still have a license to practice, this is not the first time he has done this and it won’t be the last.

Gladys
Gladys
8 months ago

This is the kicking of a dying horse. We know termik kills you within minutes. The hospital admitted to administering a muscle relaxant. The medical counsel are rebuking Dzamalalas findings based on the fact that her organs were fine and the effects of the muscle relaxant. If she died of termik, she would’ve been foaming from her mouth, but she called her mother from the hospital. The snake was even present. And the family of the deceased are now bankrupt? Look at the facts people, they conspired to make money off of the death of their own daughter at the… Read more »

Mlaliki
Mlaliki
8 months ago

Ok ok late me try to narrate the states case. Kottana friends poison her at the house and suggest they leave the house that night. Then a proper scapegoat in form of a snake is coincidentally in the area and the guard kills it. Then for some dumb reason her murderers take her to the hospital even without signs of sickness in order to ?( help me out here Mr Kayuni). Anyhow the victim shows no symptoms whatsoever of organophosphate poisoning at the clinic to raise a red flag to medical personnel. Yet by now we have all heard about… Read more »

Hope
Hope
8 months ago

Wasting time. I don’t believe anyone can drink poison and go to the hospital for a snake bite. Meanwhile all her vitals were normal. Kayuni is incompetent and trying to pin innocent people. The first question is WHY DID SHE go to the hospital. In other words you are implying that Kottana was part of the fake snake story. How can one drink Termik and present themselves with normal vitals. The clinic messed up and killed the poor girl and medics are covering up because big kahunas own the clinic. May these youngsters properly sue the state after this.

Last edited 8 months ago by Hope
Timve Ziti
Timve Ziti
8 months ago

It is clearly stated that she was normal by the time she got to the hospital. It us also stated that she was given wring medication and thats when her condition changed and led to her death.
So why waste time wuth this appeal instead of taking the hospital to task.
This young girl lost her life please. Why go around in circles

Esther
Esther
8 months ago
Reply to  Timve Ziti

Exactly! And remove Dzamalala licence. We do not need corrupt health workers like him. Plus Thoko Kaunda should pay for what he did.

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