By Ireen Kayira
Lilongwe, July 4, Mana: Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) report of an investigation into the death of Buleya Lule in police custody has cast doubt of his involvement in the abduction of Goodson Fanizo, a boy with albinism.
The report which was released Friday says the evidence that the Commission has gathered casts doubt that Lule was the mastermind of Fanizo’s abduction.
The victim (Lule now deceased) was arrested at around 04:00 hours on Monday, 18th February 2019 at his home at Mitundu Trading Centre after some of the suspects Kumbilani Patson and Sainani Kalekeni had mentioned him as an accomplice in the abduction.
“Throughout the interrogations, the victim denied to have been involved in the abduction of Goodson Fanizo and also to have known the two suspects that had mentioned him,” reads the report in part.
Furthermore the report says despite Patson’s allegations that the victim was communicating with Kalekeni on the logistics prior to the abduction through mobile phone, review of the call logs between the victim and Sainani shows that there was no mobile phone communication between the two.
Furthermore, despite the suspects alleging that the victim was driving a dark blue saloon vehicle on the day of abduction, the Commission found out that the victim never owned a vehicle nor did he knew how to drive.
Both suspects had mentioned James Green in their statements to the police, as being the person who masterminded and took part in Fanizo’s abduction. However, the report says Green has not yet been arrested.
At 08:35 hours on Wednesday, the 20th February, 2019, the victim and his co-accused were taken to Lilongwe Magistrates Court for plea by Officer Kampira.
The victim walked out of the court on his own with difficulty, he was helped into the vehicle by his co-accused. At the time he was leaving court he was alive.
“Constable (now Inspector) Mervin Gama was assigned to escort the victim and the other suspects back to Lilongwe Police Station in the company of four mobile police service officers from the C Division who were unknown to Officer Gama,” read the report.
The report said upon arrival at the station, the victim was motionless and was taken out of the vehicle on a stretcher and put at the Custody Bay.
It said his eyes were closed throughout the time he was at the Custody Bay. Detective Sub-Inspector Bosco Matete, Sergeant Tambala and Constable Mathambo took him to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH).
At KCH, the victim was certified to have been brought in dead. The cause of death was intracranial haemorrhage according to Dr. Maurice Mulenga and Dr. Charles Dzamalala post-mortem examination reports.
However, Dr. Charles Dzamalala went further to state that the intracranial haemorrhage was caused by torture and also that the immediate cause of death was electrocution.
Despite the uncertainty of the actual time of death, the facts show that the victim died in the afternoon of Wednesday, 20th February, 2019.
“It is the finding of the Commission that the Victim may have died between the time he was taken from the court to the time he was taken to KCH,” the report further reads.
The report further says that the role played by the victim, James Green, Grignard and unknown businessman is yet to be established which gives rise to the inference that investigations in the case of abduction of Fanizo were far from being concluded.
The Commission is, therefore, willing to work with all authorities and stakeholders to ensure that the violations of human rights identified in this report are remedied.