Government says it needs K21 million to extradite from South Africa and try fugitive businessperson Misozi Chanthunya.
Chanthunya, who is suspected of murdering his Zimbabwean girlfriend Linda Gasa in September 2010, lost his appeal against extradition to Malawi in the South African High Court in June last year. He made a last attempt to stop his extradition by filing an appeal in that country’s Supreme Court.
However, Minister of Justice Fahad Assani told The Nation in an interview last week that the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has applied for the money to the Treasury for the extradition of Chanthunya currently in a South African jail.
Assani said Chanthunya’s extradition has taken long because the governments of South Africa and Malawi were still sorting out the death penalty issue.
“You see, Chanthunya was charged with murder and the penalty for that [in Malawi] is death sentence, but the South African government abolished the death penalty years back and so they could not release Chanthunya so that he could face death penalty. We had to agree with them that even though he is charged with murder, he will not face the death penalty,” he said.
Assani said the two governments have now agreed, hence the application.
But in an interview, Treasury spokesperson Nations Msowoya said Treasury is yet to receive the application from the Justice Ministry.
“We have not received the request yet from Justice,” he said.
Chanthunya was captured by Interpol in South Africa in January 2012 after being on the run for 17 months.
The late Gasa was found entombed under concrete at Chanthunya’s private cottage in Monkey Bay, Mangochi.