A four-year marathon in pursuit of justice for the family of Macdonald White Masambuka, a man with albinism who was killed in cold blood, ended Monday with the High Court handing five life sentences, 60-year jail terms, 30-year jail terms, 14- year jail term, and 12-year jail terms to 12 people convicted of various offences in his murder.
Justice Dorothy Nyakaunda Kamanga, who has just been promoted to the Supreme Court of Appeal, differed with the convicts, who prayed for mercy on the ground that they are first-time offenders.
“The court is inclined to agree with the prosecution that the aggravating factors outweigh mitigating factors. As a person with albinism, he was vulnerable and was brutally and mercilessly killed for his [body] parts. The convicts met several times and planned to kill him.
“They capitalised on his psychological need of love, cheated him that they had found a woman for him to marry; they showed him a picture of an unknown woman and arranged that he meets the woman. This ended up being his death trap. Cassim White Masambuka betrayed the trust of his brother and acted like a Judas Iscariot he is,” she said.
Kamanga handed life sentences to Maxwell Matchina Sosola, Dickson Ndengu, Bashir Lilongwe, Alfred Yohane and Masambuka’s brother Cassim White Masambuka after convicting them of Macdonald’s murder.
Clinician Lumbani Kamanga, Master Mphulanya Injesi, Lackiness Magombo and Cassim Masambuka were sentenced to 60 years imprisonment for causing another person to harm a person with a disability while the clinician and Master Mphulanya Injesi were each handed another 60-year jail term for a different count of causing a person to harm a person with albinism.
Catholic priest Thomas Muhosha, police officer Chikondi Chileka, Alfred Yohane, Mussa Lilongwe and Innocent Walasi were condemned to 30 years imprisonment for transacting in human tissue, just like Matchina Sosola, Dickson Ndengu, Bashir Lilongwe and Alfred Yohane, in this case for extracting human tissue.
Yohane, Chikondi Chileka, Mussa Lilongwe and Innocent Walasi were also sentenced to 30 years imprisonment for being found in possession of human tissue.
Lastly, Yohane, Ndengu, Sosola, Bashir Lilongwe and Master Mphulanya Injesi were sentenced to 12 years imprisonment for trafficking in persons but Cassim Masambuka was sentenced to 14 years imprisonment for the same offence.
While saying the convicts should be subjected to hard labour, Nyakaunda Kamanga said for those who were convicted and sentenced on multiple counts, their sentences will run concurrently.
Masambuka’s father, White Masambuka, said he would have loved it if the convicts, including his son Cassim, were sentenced to death.
“That one [Cassim] is not my son. What he did was horrible. All of them, I wish all of them were killed the way they killed my son,” he said.
State lawyer Pirirani Masanjala welcomed the sentences, saying justice has been served.
“You have heard the sentences which have been handed out to the convicts. We have five life sentences, 60-year jail terms and 30-year jail terms, among others. That shows that justice has been served,” he said
Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP) welcomed the ruling, saying it is impactful.
CCJP National Coordinator Boniface Chibwana said the judgment has a true reflection of justice delivered.
He said even though the family of Masambuka cannot claim their relative’s life back, they should be happy that matching sentences have been meted out for offences.