Worst case of assault ever – Pathologist Dzamalala

“This is the worst case of assault I have dealt with in my 13 years as a Pathologist,” Charles Dzamalala, a respected Malawian Pathologist told Police, media, parents and family relations at the Mzuzu Central Hospital Mortuary on Thursday.

Dzamalala was giving preliminary findings of an autopsy he had done on Edison Msiska, 30, of Chabisika village, Traditional Authority Chikulamayembe in Rumphi district who died in Malawi Police custody in Mzuzu .

“We had a case of multiple bruises, fractures and strangulation. But let me emphasise the fact that the bruises were of different ages. Some were fresh and others old. But all in all the bruises tally within the period from arrest to time of death,” Dzamalala said.

Msiska was brutalised to death by Police. Photo-Nyasa Times

Dzamalala said the six page report was preliminary because laboratory and toxicology results would be out in two weeks.

“But that will not change anything. There were multiple bruises on the upper and lower limbs, the back. Some were open and some were closed. There were also five or six fractures and fracture dislocations particularly affecting the shoulder and hip joints.”

The report, a copy of which Nyasa Times has, says:“There were also multiple haemorrhages (severe blood loss) in the scalp indicating point of impact. Internally the haemorrhages were quite severe in the left and right chest cavities. Put together the blood that took out measured 450 ml.

“There were some bleeding on the heart and we also noted that the aorta (big artery to the heart) the wall of it also had some haemorrhages and that indicates that there was some pressure which was enough to transmitted to the heart.”

The report further said: “In the neck there were two problems there. The cervical spine not normal, bit of bones broken and in front of the neck the bones that protect the trachea were also broken. This means there was an attempt at strangulation or actual strangulation.”

Criminal Investigation Department officers arrested Edson, 30, on 25 January at Mzuzu Depot after he was found in possession of goods the police believed were stolen in the city.  He was arrested instead of his brother Ulemu Msiska, whom relatives confirmed is a habitual criminal.

Family members have buried Msiska alongside the victims of the July 20th anti-government demonstrations shot in Mzuzu last year.

“He is another victim of Police brutality and we would not want to waste money taking his remains to Livingstonia. He was not sick,” said Alexander Msiska, a brother to the deceased.

Other suspects who shared the cell with Edson and spoke to Nyasa Times claimed the police severely beat the deceased.

Wearing a brave face and avoiding the emotional outburst from the relatives, Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Isaac Maluwa said the Police though stand accused in this case, will make sure that their investigations will leave no stone unturned.


But Edison mother Esther Lupafya, a Nurse at Ekwendeni Hospital, berated the Police for lying that her daughter was a victim of mob justice.

“You are a great liar,” Lupafya pointed at Maluwa.

“If you are born of a woman you must not lie again. You will also die a brutal death. Not from me but from the world,” Lupafya said in quavering voice.

However, Maluwa maintained his composure responding in calm voice inconsistent with barking orders associated with his office as Northern Region Police Operations Officer.

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