The High Court in Zomba has ruled that Catholic priest Father Thomas Muhosha, who is among 13 people suspected of having a role in the murder of MacDonald Masambuka, a person with albinism, be represented by Legal Aid Bureau.
Zomba-based High Court Judge Zione Ntaba said that will be the arrangement if Muhosha’s newly identified private practice lawyer Violet Jumbe fails to appear in court tomorrow.
The judge arrived at the decision when the court heard that the Catholic priest has not yet finalised his agreements with the new lawyer for his legal representation in the court.
She said the court has given Muhosha enough time totalling 54 days to find a lawyer.
Ntaba recalled adjourning the case from March 5 to April 1 as well as April 1 to May 6 this year, respectively, to give the suspect a chance.
In reaction, Legal Aid Bureau lawyer Trouble Kalua said if Muhosha continues to be affecting the progress of the case, he should be distinguished from the case to pave the way for the other suspects to be tried as the bureau is ready to defend its clients.
On his part, one of the State lawyers, Steven Kayuni, prayed to the court to continue with the case, saying further adjournments are draining government’s resources.
In January this year, the court found Muhosha and 12 others with a case to answer.
The body of Masambuka, 22, who hailed 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 Muhosha, the suspects include Masambuka’s brother Cassim White Masambuka who faces three charges of murder, trafficking in persons and causing another person to harm a person with disability.