18 April 2019

Malawi: Chilima Demands Arrest of Police Officers Over Buleya Lule Murder

UTM Party president Saulos Chilima has told the State to immediately arrest police officers who killed Buleya Lule, a suspect in the abduction of a boy with albinism, in police custody during interrogation.

Chilima: Has demanded justice of Lule with immediate arrest and prosecution of involved police officers

Crowds of people listening to Chilima in Neno

He has also challenged the government to investigate the murder of graft busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), top official Isa Njauju, four years ago as well as Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa seven years ago.

"The police officers who killed Buleya Lule must be held accountable. They should be arrested and face trial. We cannot allow this extra judicial killings," said Chilima.

Chilima was speaking in Neno on Wednesday during a highly patronized UTM rally.

The State vice-president said justice on the murder of Lule in police custody can only be achieved if the police officers involved face the long arm of the law.

Lule,39, was arrested over the abduction of 12-year-old Goodson Makanjira in Dedza.

An autopsy report by Dr. Charles Dzamalala and two other South African doctors show that Lule died after prolonged police torture before he was electrocuted.

This is in contrast to an earlier autopsy commissioned by Malawi Police Service (MPS) which claimed Lule had died of natural causes.

Police spokesperson James Kadadzera refused to comment on the matter, saying the police are yet to be served with the autopsy report although they have seen it in social media platforms.

The Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) has salso demanded immediate action from the Police Inspector General Rodney Jose, failing which they will take to the streets on April 30.

In the seven-page autopsy report, Dzamalala states that the results show a "microscopically proven electrocution wound over abdomen", and that the deceased was also assaulted.

Reads the report in part: "While electrocution is the primary cause of death in this instance, it was abundantly clear that the deceased was also assaulted with different types of implements, including but not limited to a cylindrical object inflicting trauma to the head and probably also a hot iron or similar object placed on a cloth over the skin rather than directly onto the skin around the left buttock."

Apam president Overstone Kondowe said the autoposy report confirms their fears on the existence of an invisible hand in cases involving people with albinism (PWAs).

He said: "This was a third death of a suspect and we wondered why human rights bodies and government were quiet on these suspicious deaths. So we are saying, let the IG act on the report within 10 days."

Two others, Donald Msafiri--a suspect in the abduction of 18-month-old Eunice Nkhonjera, a PWA in Karonga and Joseph Andiwotchi, a suspect in the abduction of Ibra Pilo, a two-year-old PWA in Machinga, mysteriously committed suicide.

At the UTM rally, Chilima also wondered why the police were failing to investigate the deaths of Njauju and Chasowa, saying this smacks something fishy.

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