ormer president Peter Mutharika and his ex-aide Hetherwick Ntaba face criminal proceedings in connection with the 2018 murder in Machinga of MacDonald Masambuka, a 24-year-old man with albinism.
In a letter dated July 1 2022 addressed to the office of the Inspector General of Police, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steve Kayuni directed Malawi Police Service to begin criminal proceedings following some testimonies during Masambuka’s case.
Reads the letter in part: “During the testimony and actual judgement, names of Messrs. His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika [former President of the Republic of Malawi] and Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba, then presidential adviser and chairperson of the National Task Force on Persons with Albinism, were now and again mentioned as having a part in the allegations.”
In the letter, the DPP further observed that former High Court judge Dorothy NyaKaunda Kamanga, now a Justice of Appeal, wondered in her judgement why no investigations were undertaken to substantiate the said allegations.
Kayuni directed: “In accordance with the law, the directorate is of the opinion that criminal investigations be instituted against the said allegations and references made by the High Court judgement.
“Further to this, possible charges are as follows: (a). Causing one to harm a person with a disability (killing), (b). Causing someone to harm one with a disability (extraction of tissue), (c). Transacting in human tissue.
“It is our hope that the acts herein will be investigated swiftly so as to address the wrongs allegedly committed.”
In an interview yesterday, he said issues raised by Justice Kamanga cannot go without a thorough investigation.
Kayuni said: “Persons with albinism are people too, they deserve utmost protection. We await what investigations will come up with, on this crucial matter.”
National Police deputy spokesperson Harry Namwaza asked for more time before commenting on the DPP’s directive.
But in an interview yesterday, Ntaba expressed shock with DPP’s directive to commence a criminal proceedings against him.
He said there are so many critical issues that require investigation and follow ups in the country.
Said Ntaba: “I am very surprised to hear that. The case went through the court. Did the people who made allegations against me bring any evidence in the court?”
Efforts to speak to Mutharika through his spokesperson Shadric Namalomba proved futile as his phones went unanswered on several attempts.
During the trial, former police officer Chikondi Chileka, who has now been handed a 30-year custodial sentence and Alfred Yohane, who has been sentenced to life imprisonment, on several occasions alleged that Mutharika and Ntaba were behind the plot to kill Masambuka.
Chileka and Yohane’s testimonies compelled then presiding High Court Judge Zione Ntaba to recuse herself from the case in May 2019, citing the inclusion of her uncle’s name Heatherwick Ntaba in the case as the reason.
Masambuka, went missing on March 9 2018 and his body was later found buried in a garden on April 2 near Makawa Village.