Indian community gangs up for justice

An aggrieved Indian community in Lilongwe has ganged up demanding justice over a gruesome murder of 35 –year old Zaheera Jabbar Akbanie, a mother of three, who was allegedly killed by her own husband last month.

Suspect Shaheen Gumrha (41) is currently under police custody awaiting trial on allegations that he brutally killed his wife using a knife.

The deacesed’s father (on the phone) at the court with some members of the Indian community.

In a statement made available to Nation Online, the aggrieved community is appealing for support from the general public to stand in solidarity for the late Zaheera and also pleads for justice to prevail.

 “We believe that tomorrow, the 9th of January, there is an appeal for bail being submitted at Lilongwe High Court, from the defendants in the on-going murder trial for late Zaheera Akbanie. This message is a plea to all the heads of \ and members of the various communities in Malawi, regardless of cast, creed or religion to stand together in solidarity tomorrow to show our support for the deceased,” reads part of the statement.

On Wednesday morning the victims’ family and other sympathisers stormed the court to protest against any attempt to grant bail to the suspect. The group, which included the grief-stricken father of the deceased, impatiently watched as both their lawyer Goba Chipeta and the defence counsel Innocent Kubwalo worked on some paper work regarding the case, which is currently at the Lilongwe High Court.

Court records show that the defence counsel is to file for bail application, which the aggrieved community is opposing.

“I could not have come here. My heart is heavy. I am burdened to have lost my daughter just like that. I am here to plead with the authorities to deliver justice on this matter.

“I wish you understood how I feel. I will be here at the courts to follow proceedings, just to see to it that justice is done for the sake of my family, including the children the deceased has left behind,” explained the tearful father of the deceased.

Added a female sympathiser:“We need justice. Money and corruption should not compromise this case. We know how some colleagues within the community are mobilising resources to defeat justice in this case. We will do everything to ensure justice prevails including organising peaceful protests.”

Zaheera was murdered on December 19 last year in Area 9 suburbs of Lilongwe. The husband was arrested the following day as a suspect. Since then, he has been on remand at Maula Prison. Last Thursday, the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court committed the case to the High Court, which is mandated to handle murder cases.

Both lawyers refused to comment on the matter.

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