Mass grave victims died of suffocation— Report


By Patience Lunda

The Malawi Police Service (MPS) says the final autopsy report on the death of 30 suspected victims of human trafficking, whose bodies were exhumed from a mass grave at Mtangatanga Forest Reserve in Mzimba District in October 18 2022, shows they died due to suffocation.

The report has shown that the 30 died due to suffocation, further indicating that carbon monoxide was a contributing factor because the victims were locked up in a van.


MPS spokesperson Peter Kalaya says the autopsy report, which was conducted and compiled by pathologist Charles Dzamalala, will be tendered in court as evidence once the case commences.

“We have received the final autopsy report on the cause of death and it shows that they suffocated because they were locked up in a vehicle for a long time,” he said.

Five people including Tadikira Mafubza, stepson to former president Peter Mutharika, were arrested in connection with the alleged death of the 30 people on November 23 2022.


Mafubza is being accused of human trafficking and faces murder charges.

He spent a month-and-two weeks in custody and was granted bail by the High Court sitting in Mzuzu on January 14 2023 but the case is still in court.

On the day Mafubza was granted bail, a representative of the State, Dzikondianthu Malunda, revealed that the State had not yet concluded investigations as two more suspects were still at large and could not disclose when the investigations would be finalised.

A date is yet to be set for the continuation of the case.

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