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Mother, hubby convicted over albino boy killing

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By Jameson Chauluka:

The High Court sitting in Phalombe last Friday convicted a mother and stepfather for killing their 12-year-old child with albinism, Joseph Kachingwe.

Mary Nankhuku and Humphrey Elia were convicted after State prosecutor Samuel Chitsanga paraded four witnesses before the court.

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Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi Deputy General Secretary, Ian Simbota, has hailed the ruling, saying it was a sign that cases of killing and abduction of people with albinism have started moving in the right direction.

“This is an encouraging development. This is what we have been waiting for. It was sad that a mother and stepfather could conspire to kill their own child just for his skin, giving the innocent boy a poisoned drink. That was unacceptable,” he said.

High Court Judge Sylvester Kalembera said, having gone through the evidence which the State presented, the court was convinced that the two were involved in the killing of Kachingwe.

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Kachingwe went missing on July 6 2018 when he went to Independence Day celebrations with his friends at Traditional Authority Jenala’s headquarters in the district.

He reportedly went to the event with friends but, before returning, he is said to have insisted that he would return home with his stepfather who was at the same ceremony. The boy never returned home.

Eight people were arrested in connection with the case and the State applied that Eliya and Nankhuku should have their case heard separately.

Although the body of Kachingwe was never found, the police charged the suspects with murder late last year.

Kalembera has adjourned the matter to May 31 2019 for sentencing.

Trial for the other six suspects, identified as Patrick Chinawa, Eniphat Chinawa, Biton Tambwali, Steven Chauma, Julius Mkhwayi and Joseph Mankhokwe, will start once the first case is concluded.

Some 24 persons with albinism are believed to have been killed since 2014 in Malawi.

Recently, Apam members staged protests in Lilongwe to press President Peter Mutharika to act on continued attacks on persons with albinism.

Recently, a boy and baby girl also went missing in Dedza and Karonga and they are yet to be found. The actual market for body tissues of persons with albinism is yet to be established but such tissues are said to be used for rituals.

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