2 sentenced to life in prison for murdering man with albinism

The High Court sitting in Nkhata Bay has sentenced Frank Mkweni Thonje, 21, and Bonzo Chirwa, 54, to life in prison for the murder of Yasin Kwenda Phiri on December 31, 2018.

The two broke into Kwenda’s house, killed and butchered him by stabbing him in the stomach, removing his intestines and chopping off his arms in front of his nine-year-old son.

In the course of investigation into the matter seven suspects were arrested and were charged with murder and genocide, however  but others including Francis Chipateni Kalua, Lawrence Theu Kalua Caesar Banda were acquitted when the court earlier delivered its ruling on whether they had a case to answer or not.

Pronouncing the sentence on Wednesday, Justice Chimwemwe Kamowa, said the penalty should serve a strong warning to would be offenders.

Reacting on the same, Standing Voice, an organization that defends the rights of people with albinism in the country has lauded the courts and judiciary for handling the case with professionalism and prevailing justice to the Phiri family.

Standing Voice Country Director, Bonface Massah, said they are delighted with the sentence.

“It is a celebration for us because for a very long we have been lobbying for stiffer penalties on all perpetrators of the rights of the people with albinism and we are very happy that the courts have heard our cry,” he said.

Massah added; “It is our plea that the same momentum and efforts would be applied on the other cases involving the murder of people with albinism and ensure that we create a conducive and safe environment for everyone in the country.”

Both Bonzo and Thonje hail from Traditional Authority Fukamapiri in NkhataBay district.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *