MALAWI: FOUR SENTENCED TO DEATH FOR KILLING ALBINO
December 3, 2019:
The High Court in Lilongwe has sentenced to death four people while four others have been handed life sentences for killing a 21-year-old woman with albinism in Dowa in 2016, the Nation reported on 2nd December 2019. (Sources: mwnation.com, 02/12/2019)
The Association of Persons with Albinism (Apam) national coordinator Overstone Kondowe and rights activist and country director for Standing Voice Boniface Massa have since applauded the country’s judicial system for the sentence, saying it will serve as a warning to would-be offenders.
The slain woman, Enelesi Nkhata, was a niece to one of the convicts, Gerald Phiri, who connived with the others to kill her for rituals.
The court on 29 November heard that Phiri picked the woman from Dedza to Madisi, Dowa on the understanding that he had found her a job suitable for her qualification—Malawi School Certificate of Education (MSCE)—when in fact it was a mission to terminate her life.
After citing a number of previous judgements that justified a death sentence, Justice Chifundo Kachale said he settled for the same penalty as the appropriate punishment, considering the gravity of the offence.
The State prayed for a maximum prison term of 50 years for murder and 15 years for human trafficking, but the judge had a different view.
“The court hereby condemns you Gerald Phiri to suffer death in the manner prescribed by the law; subject…to the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code,” reads part of the ruling.
The same sentence was handed to three other convicts—Medson Madzialenga, Jesmon Baluwa and Steven Ching’ombe.
The four have also been sentenced to life imprisonment for the offence of trafficking in person.
The other four, who have also been handed life imprisonment for trafficking in persons are Macdonald Kanyerere, Damiano Phiri, Isaac Msambalume and Damdson Manyani.