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Police clueless on Nkhata Bay albino killing

By Feston Malekezo:

Nkhata Bay Police have said they are failing to trace the masterminds of the killing of a man with albinism, Yasin Phiri, on December 3I 2018.

Chintheche Police Post Officer-in-Charge, Hamilton Chinthochi, was reacting to questions from Kande residents on progress of investigations on the case, masterminds of such an attack and market for tissues of persons with albinism.

The questions were raised during a sensitisation meeting which a cultural grouping, Mdauko wa Atonga, organised on Monday with community members, chiefs and police representatives.

“We have used every technique possible to get important information from the suspects but none of them has led us to a possible mastermind or the albino market,” Chinthochi said.

In reaction, the gathering walked away while murmuring i n dissatisfaction. And, with that, the meeting ended.

“We are still engaging the suspects but as of now we have not found anything as a clue from them. I am not sure if we will find something tangible from the suspects. At times, we feel the modern ways of finding information from a suspect are different from those that were used during the one-party system. We are democratic these days and the techniques are much democratic as well…,” Chinthochi said in an interview later.

After the brutal death of Phiri, six people were arrested and are on remand at Mzuzu Prison.

Mdauko wa Atonga Vice-Chairperson, Reverend Mezuwa Banda, also told the meeting that 15 people, including Phiri, have been murdered in 2018 alone in Nkhata Bay, putting questions over security of people in the district.

Some of traditional leaders who were present at the meeting proposed the death penalty for those found guilty of offences of killing, abducting and attacking persons with albinism.

Meanwhile, the Diocese of Zomba has dismissed allegations that have been making rounds on social media that Father Thomas Muhosha, one of the suspects in the Macdonald Masambuka murder case, is dead.

The Daily Times has seen a leaked statement from the Bishop’s house dated February 26, signed by the Bishop’s Secretary Father Isaac Tsegula.

“Though our Prison Chaplaincy, the diocese wishes to confirm that Fr Muhosha is not dead. The reports have been shaped for the agenda at variance with the facts on the ground. Let’s continue praying hard for the truth and justice to prevail as preach boldly for a nation free of every chain of abuse to our beloved brothers and sisters with albinism,” the statement reads.

Muhosha has been on remand since May 2018 and it was alleged that he was ill.

Meanwhile, members of the community in Rumphi are reported to have thwarted an attempted abduction of Noriana Mhango, a one-year-and-10 month girl with albinism after the mother and uncle of the baby were alerted of the presence of the assailant outside their house by barking of dogs at night.

A similar incident was also reported in Kuntaja, Machinga, Tuesday.

The assailant fled from the house. Rumphi police are investigating the incident. Last month, a baby with albinism was abducted in Karonga followed by a similar incident in Dedza. A young man also survived an attack in Machinga last month.

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