The Police Service Commission (PSC) says it does not have the mandate to investigate the death of Buleya Lule, a suspect who allegedly offered to ‘buy’ a 14-year-old boy with albinism, Goodson Makanjira, for K800 000 in Dedza.
In a letter responding to a Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) query, the PSC further argues that it has not received any report implicating any police officer in the matter and, as a result, no disciplinary proceedings could be instituted.
Meanwhile, Malawi Police Service (MPS) national spokesperson James Kadadzera has said they are waiting for an autopsy report which the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) commissioned on the matter.
Kadadzera said the outcome of that report will determine the course of action the police will take, promising PSC will offer any support to ensure that truth prevails on the matter.
He also encouraged the citizenry to file complaints with MPS’ Professional Standards Unit which handles complaints against the service.
According to Association of Persons with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) president Overstone Kondowe, quoting an oral report of preliminary results from pathologists who include Dr. Charles Dzamalala, Lule was electrocuted and hit on the head with some metal bars.
“We had MHRC, family members and the police when the preliminary findings were shared. This is an oral report shared to interested parties.
“It was concluded that the late Lule was killed. They singled out the main cause as electrocution and there was also bleeding inside the brain because of pressure from a cylindrical bar which was used on his head,” he earlier told Nation on Sunday.
This prompted HRDC to write PSC to conduct a thorough investigation on the matter.
The HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo said the death smacks of foul play.
He said: “We at HRDC and indeed all well-meaning Malawians are tempted to think that those that we have entrusted with the responsibility of bringing the perpetrators of these inhumane acts are deliberately failing to do their job.”
But in a letter dated March 26 2019, PSC secretary Blessings Chilabade said the commission considered the matter during a meeting held on March 1 2019.
It reads: “The Commission observed that it does not have the mandate to arrest suspects and investigate crimes.
“However, the Commission had some indications that investigations are being carried out in the matter. The Commission was of the view that findings of such investigations would assist the Commission to understand what happened and who did it. After this the Commission may institute disciplinary proceedings against any police officer (s) who may be implicated in the matter.”
MHRC executive secretary, Nungu said they commissioned pathologist Charles Dzamalala to do the autopsy but the report was not yet out . He said they will be writing the pathologist today to remind them of the report.
Deputy Inspector General of Police Duncan Mwapasa said in an interview the report is not yet out.
“Once it is out, it will inform our decision on whether to investigate the matter or not,” he said.
Meanwhile, HRDC deputy chairperson Gift Trapence has said they will continue pushing “to bring to book those response for the killing of Mr Buleya Lule.” n