3 convicted of conspiracy to murder person with albinism in Mchinji

Written by  James Kanyenda

The High Court sitting in Mchinji has convicted three people of conspiracy to commit murder involving a person with albinism.

05
June


The three are Douglas Mwale, Sofia Jere and Pontino Folosani who are said to have conspired and killed Prescott Pepuzani in August 2015 in the district.


Court evidence shows that the first accused Douglas Mwale approached Sofia Jere, his cousin, who was doing a small business and convinced her that her business would grow if she finds body tissues of a person with albinism.


Jere then approached late Prescott Pepuzani and took him to Mwale's house after tricking him that she had found him a wife and that the wife was waiting for him at the said house.


Late Pepuzani was murdered at Mwale's house and his limbs were amputated and the rest of his body was buried in Mwale's garden.


The missing of Pepuzani led to investigations by the police who then arrested four people namely Douglas Mwale, Sofia Jere,  Pontino Folosani and Alick Kambani .


The suspects were charged with four counts of murder, conspiracy to harm a person with disability, selling of body tissues and possession of human tissues.


Following evidence that was tendered, the court convicted Mwale, Jere and Folosani of one count of conspiracy to commit murder, but pronounced them not guilty in the other three counts.  


The court has also acquitted the fourth accused person Alick Kambani due to lack of substantive evidence on his involvement.


The court heard that the fourth accused was in Zambia when the incident happened.


Presiding judge Esme Chombo has  asked both the state and the defence to present their final written submission before 15 July this year  and she is expected to pass the sentence thereafter.

 

Malawi has witnessed a spate of albino killings in the last two years, with suspects believing that their body parts could make them rich.

 

The administration of President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has rolled out an action plan to stop the vice, including equipping  albions with alarms that can alert police if in danger.

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