The Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has started a special inquiry into the death of Buleya Lule, a key suspect in the abduction of a boy with albinism.
Lule died in police custody after he appeared in the Lilongwe Magistrate’s Court on February 21 on the first day of trial over the abduction of Goodson Makanjira, 14, from Mphanyama Village, in Traditional Authority Chilikumwendo, Dedza.
The accused, who had pleaded not guilty and was charged together with five others, is said to have been offered the abducted boy by two of the fellow accused, including Makanjira’s step-father, for a price of K800 000.
In a statement we saw yesterday signed by MHRC executive secretary David Nungu, the commission says the hearing is an opportunity for persons connected to the matter to be heard. These include police officers at Lilongwe Police Station, where Lule was in remand before he died, and Mitundu Police Station, where he was briefly kept after arrest, relatives and other key witnesses.
Reads the statement in part: “Investigations are focusing on the right to life and the rights of suspects sitting in the Constitution of the Republic of Malawi under Section 16 and 42, respectively. The investigations will, inter alia, involve the hearing of the case herein by a two-member panel of the commission, comprising commissioners Martha Chizuma and Rosemary Kumitsonyo Kanyuka, with the former being a presiding member.”
Preliminary autopsy results for Lule revealed that he died after sustaining three main injuries to the head, tummy and on his buttocks.
Lule had been among six men who were arrested in connection with the abduction.
The others are Kumbilani Patson, 51, the first accused, Sainani Kalekeni, 44, the second accused; Lukas Kagomo, 36, the third accused; Katiya Mizeck, 42, the fourth accused; Lule, 44, the fifth accused; and Wiskes Gana, 58, the sixth accused. n