8 May 2016

Malawi: Two Mozambican Herbalists Arrested Over Murder of Malawian Albino

Photo: The Citizen
(file photo)

Two Mozambican herbalists have been arrested in connection with the murder of a Malawian 17-years-old albino Fletcher Machinjiri late last month by convicted Malawian nationals Vuto Biswick and Emmanuel Robert.

Dedza Police Deputy Piblicist Cassim Manda said the arrest of the two herbalists Tafatatha Chithanyula (60 years old) and Madalitso Tafatatha was the done after working closely with ther Mozambican counterparts in Domwe.

Manda said Domwe Officer in Charge Julio Gabriel informed Malawian Police Officers at Dedza that the suspects from Undi Village in Traditional Authority in Angonia, were arrested.

But he said their Mozambican counterparts turned down a request to come to Malawi when the Dedza Police Officers went to Domwe.

He has disclosed that the Malawian Police Officers are in the process of having them suspects tried outside Mozambique. "It is a long process but as of now we have already compiled all necessary documents for extradition process. Our legal advisers through Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) will apply for extradition in that will be debated in court of our requested country," he said.

"And the court will decide whether to release the suspects in question to the jurisdiction of the requesting nation."

Meanwhile the Malawians Biwick and Robert who killed the albino were slapped with a 25-year-old prison sentence.

Dedza First grade magistrate Eneta Jiya Banda only sentenced the two on three charges, six years imprisonment with hard labour (IHL) on the first count of conspiracy to commit a felony contrary to Section 404 of the Penal Code and 12 years IHL on the second count of abducting with intent to murder contrary to Section 261 of the Penal Code, to run concurrently.

On the third count of trafficking a person contrary to Section 15 sub section (1) of Trafficking Act No 3 of 2015, Magistrate Jiya Banda sentenced the two convicts to 13 years imprisonment with hard labour after getting the nod from High Court judge Ivy Kamanga as the offence of trafficking in person attracts a maximum sentence of 21 years, which is beyond the jurisdiction of the First Grade Magistrate's Court.

The magistrate showed the court gruesome pictures of how Davis Fletcher Machinjiri was butchered by Vuto Biswick and Emmanuel Robert, who then took his body parts to Mozambique to sell.

Witchdoctors say potions made from the body parts of albinos - who lack pigment in their skin, eyes and hair - can bring good luck and wealth. They are prepared to pay K50 million for a complete set of albino body parts.

But governments and human rights campaigners are battling to change such wrong perception.

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