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Lule’s wife wants private prosecution

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By Mandy Pondani:

EMOTIONAL—Lule’s wife weeps after the proceedings in
Lilongwe Wednesday

Widow to the late Buleya Lule Charity Lule has written the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) applying for consent for private criminal prosecution of the matter regarding her husband’s death.

Charity, two weeks ago, wrote the office of the Attorney General (AG) through her lawyer George Kadzipatike of Jivason and Company demanding for immediate arrest of police officers who were implicated in the death of her husband.

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She also asked for K250 million compensation money from government covering damages for breach by the State of the deceased’s constitutional right to life, damages for loss of expectation of life and damages for loss of dependency.

At the elapse of the seven-day ultimatum on May 21 2019, there has been no action from Malawi Police Service (MPS) or the commander-in-chief on the suspected officers, hence the new action by the widow.

In the letter which we have seen, the deceased’s wife wonders why there has been no progress on the matter even after a report by Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) recommended to the Inspector General of Police to urgently institute criminal investigations of all police officers who handled Lule from February 18-20 2019.

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“…Up to now, the family of the deceased has observed that there is no progress on the criminal matter. It is for the foregoing reasons that the family of the deceased, through Mrs Charity Lule, has given us instructions to handle the criminal matter to ensure that justice prevails in the matter, hence this application for consent under Section 79 (1) of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code,” reads part of Kadzipatike’s application.

The consent, according to the letter, is being sought in respect of Superintendent Paul Chipole, Sub-Inspector Ikram Malata, Acting Commissioner for the Central Region Police Headquarters Evalista Chisale, Inspector Ronnex Kapesa and Station Criminal Investigations Officer for Dedza Police Station Inspector Mervin Gama.

“The family of the deceased wants action on the matter. We, therefore, expect the consent to prosecute, from your office within seven days from the date hereof. Once given the consent to handle the matter, the learned counsel intends to handle the matter professionally,” adds the letter.

In a separate interview Friday, Kadzipatike said, in their intended prosecution, they will be using the evidence that the family already has and the evidence that they shall procure from MPS.

In a case where the DPP’s office turns their application down or fail to respond within the stated time, Kadzipatike said they shall file for judicial review at the High Court.

He said: “If the consent is not granted, we shall file for judicial review of that decision. If the DPP does not respond within seven days, we shall regard that lack of response as refusal and will seek relief from the court on that kind of inaction.”

This comes at a time when AG Kaphale is also yet to respond to the K250 million demand of compensation by Charity.

Rather Kaphale, in a letter written to Jivason and Company on June 15 2019, asked Lule’s lawyers to make available to him a letter of instruction from the complainant arguing he is receiving numerous communications on the matter.

“May you please avail me your letter of instructions to enable me to communicate with you on the matter as I am getting communications from many quarters on the same matter,” Kaphale’s letter reads.

When contacted, DPP Mary Kachale did not pick our calls after several attempts while police spokesperson James Kadadzera defended their non-action by saying they are still waiting for advice from the AG’s office.

Lule died in Police custody on February 20 2019, two days after police arrested him in connection to the abduction and missing of a boy with albinism Goodson Fanizo from Makanjira Village in Dedza.

A forensic autopsy report by Malawi’s top pathologist Charles Dzamalala which was released on April 12, 2019 showed that the primary cause of death was electrocution, aside the various assaults with different implements.

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