Chikondi Chileka, one of the suspects in the murder of McDonald Masambuka, a person with albinism, has told the court that he was implicated because he once conducted investigations into abductions and killings of such people.
Chileka, who was a police officer at Mselema Police Post in Machinga, testified in the High Court in Blantyre yesterday before Judge Dorothy NyaKaunda Kamanga that National Police Headquarters, under the Anti-Organised Crime Department, instituted a police task force, which he was part of, to find the market and pattern of bones for people with albinism (PWA).
The eighth accused said as part of his methodology, he interacted with different people including Father Thomas Muhosha, a Catholic priest, to establish how the business was conducted.
Said Chileka: “Following the rise of cases of abduction and killings of person with albinism in Machinga, police headquarters in 2013 instituted a task force to find the market and pattern. I was part of the team because then I was a police intelligent. On 25th July 2016, I released the report with names of people involved in the business.”
Legal Aid Bureau lawyer Leah Masowa, who is representing the accused person, asked Chileka to mention people his investigation found that they are involved in the business.
Chileka mentioned a former Machinga Central legislator, senior government officials, a traditional leader and a Machinga businessperson.
Before he completed testifying, one of the State lawyers, chief State advocate Steve Kayuni, asked the court to adjourn as it was around 4.45pm.
Both State and defence lawyers agreed to adjourn to January 21 2020 when Chileka will proceed with his defence.
After the court case, both the State and Legal Aid lawyers refused to give journalists interviews.
Pirirani Masanjala and Kayuni represented the State while Legal Aid director Masauko Chamkakala and Masowa represented Chileka.
In January this year, the court found Muhosha and 12 others with a case to answer.
The body of Masambuka, 24, who came from Nakawa Village, Traditional Authority Nkoola in Machinga, was found buried on April 1 2018 after he was reported missing in March the same year. Besides Chileka, Muhosha and Yohane, other suspects include Masambuka’s brother Cassim White who faces three charges of murder, trafficking in persons and causing harm to a person with disability.