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Human rights bodies hail albino murder conviction

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Gift Trapence

By Wezzie Gausi:

Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) and Centre for the Development of People (Cedep) have welcomed the conviction of two people who killed a person with albinism.

The two organisations have commended the Judiciary, Malawi Police Service and the Director of Public Prosecutions for expediting the case.

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The High Court sitting in Mzuzu has convicted Frank Mkweni Thonje and Bonzo Chirwa for murdering Yassin Kwenda Phiri, who had the condition of albinism.

However, the court is yet to set a date for sentencing.

Phiri was murdered on December 31 2018 at his home in Kande, Nkhata Bay, in the presence of his son.

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Armed with pangas, the assailants broke into his bedroom through a window, stabbed him in the stomach and removed his intestines. They later chopped off his hands.

CHRR Executive Director Michael Kaiyatsa described the act as despicable.

Cedep Executive Director Gift Trapence paid tribute to prosecutors and investigators and organisations that pursued the case with diligence to see that justice was done.

“CHRR and Cedep remain committed to supporting the government in proactively promoting and protecting the rights of persons with albinism and ensuring their full participation in the socio-economic development of the country in an environment free of stigma, discrimination and violence,” Trapence said.

Some of the cases that are yet to be completed are those of MacDonald Masambuka, Goodson Fanizo Makanjira and the recent case of 26-year-old Saidi Dyton, who was abducted and murdered on January 27 this year in Mangochi District.

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