Police say they found a human skeleton in November suspected to have been “completely devoured” by wild animals within Kamuzu Palace grounds and which could be remains of a 16-year-old boy who disappeared in the palace premises.
Police have since said investigations “are in full force to establish the truth”.
But revelations that police discovered a human skeleton inside the Kamuzu Palace compound in Lilongwe have angered the family of the boy feared to have been shot dead within the precincts of the presidential palace.
Police confirmed on Tuesday that they found a human skeleton inside the palace compound three days after the alleged killing, but did not inform the missing boy’s family.
George Tayimu was allegedly shot on November 4 last year while reportedly trespassing into the forest of the nearby Kamuzu Palace to fetch firewood.
Until Tuesday’s confirmation of the discovery of the skeleton, police maintained having no knowledge of the shooting, a development that angered Tayimu’s family.
In an interview also on Tuesday, the victim’s father Frackson Tayimu said it was outrageous that police now claim to have found a human body inside the State House compound on November 7 when, to date, they have not yet allowed the family an opportunity to access the body.
He said police have also not communicated to his family, two months after Tayimu’s alleged shooting.
In an earlier interview with our sister newspaper, Nation on Sunday, police were quoted as having told the Tayimu family that they had no record of the incident.
However, a friend of the victim who accompanied him on the ill-fated day claimed seeing a police officer opening fire at his colleague.
In a written statement on Tuesday, National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed that police found a human body, but said investigations were underway on whether the body was of the purported victim.
The statement described George as a “missing person” from Majuwa Village, Traditional Authority (T/A) Kwataine in Ntcheu District whose friend, Reuben Chunga, “speculated to the parents of the missing person that his friend made a loud cry while in the forest reserve and did not see him again as they were running away”.
The statement further said police are treating Chunga as both a key witness and a suspect.
“Within the same period, police at Kawale Police Sub-station in Lilongwe on 7th November 2016 received information from the State House that a human skeleton was found near the helipad completely devoured, suspectedly by wild animals,” said Kadadzera in the statement.
But the family on Tuesday expressed shock that police were aware of the discovery of a human body inside the palace since November 7, but never informed the family.
Said the victim’s father: “We have not been told anything. They [police] want to cover up what happened. They are doing this because I am a poor person and a ‘nobody’. They don’t want the truth to come out.”
The mother of Reuben, Maureen Chunga, said her family was also visited by police three days after the incident, a move that could have intimidated Reuben who was not around. n