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Police mum on Buleya Lule probe

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By Faith Kadzanja:

James Kadadzera

Two months after Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) recommended that some police officers should be investigated to determine the role they played in the death of Buleya Lule, nothing of that sort has happened.

National Police spokesperson, James Kadadzera, requested for more time before commenting on MHRC’s recommendation on the death of Lule, who was one of the key suspects in the abduction of Goodson Fanizo Makanjira, a boy with albinism in Dedza in

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February 2019.

Lule died while in police custody and a postmortem report revealed that he was tortured to death.

Presenting findings of the commission in Lilongwe in May 2019, MHRC Commissioner, Martha Chizuma, urged Inspector General (IG) of Police to urgently institute criminal investigations of all police officers who arrested the victim on February 18 2019 and held him for interrogation, to determine the role they played, if at all, leading to the death of the victim.

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Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi President, Ian Simbota, said they were waiting for the IG to act on the matter.

“We are still waiting for the IG because we also sent a demand that the IG should give us names of officers who might have been responsible for handling of or indeed killing Buleya Lule because the autopsy report confirmed that Lule was killed,” Simbota said.

He said, considering the sensitivity of the case, there was need to get to the bottom of the issue.

“We want to know because we have heard from other quarters that Lule was not the suspect, but the interest is not whether he was the suspect or not but the fact that he died when he was still called a suspect by the same police. Our interest is who killed Lule and why?” he said.

Police officers named in the report include acting Commissioner for Central Region Police Headquarters Evalista Chisale, Superintendent Paul Chipole, Sub-Inspector Ikram Malata, Inspector Ronnex Kapesa and Station Criminal Investigations Officer for Dedza Police Station Inspector Mervin Gama.

MHRC also mentioned four mobile police service officers from C Division who escorted the suspect from Lilongwe Principal Magistrate Court to Lilongwe Police Station after Lule had appeared in court.

MHRC also said, according to its investigations, it was doubtful that Lule was involved in the abduction of the boy as investigations in the case were far from being concluded.

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