The High Court sitting in Mchinji Tuesday convicted three people of conspiracy to commit murder of a person with albinism, Prescott Pepuzani.

The court has since acquitted one other suspect of the charge.

The three accused identified as Douglas Mwale, Sofia Jere and Pontino Folosani are said to have conspired and killed Pepuzani in August, 2015 in the district.

According to Judge Esme Chombo, the first accused, Douglas Mwale, approached Sofia Jere, his cousin who was doing a small business and convinced her that her business would grow if she found the tissue of a person with albinism.

It is on record that Jere, the second accused, approached late Prescott Pepuzani (the deceased) who was selling tobacco and newspaper at Kapanga Trading Centre in Traditional Authority Kapondo and took him to Mwale’s house (first accused) after tricking him that she had found him a wife and that the wife was waiting for him at the said house.

Judge Chombo said according to investigations, the late Pepuzani was murdered at Mwale’s house and his limbs were amputated while the rest of his body was buried in Mwale’s garden. 

The missing of Pepuzani led to investigations by the police who then arrested four people namely Douglas Mwale, Sofia Jere, Pontino Folosani and Alick Kambani.

The suspects were taken to the high court where they were charged with four counts of murder, conspiracy to harm a person with disability, selling of body tissues and possession of human tissues.

After cross examination of submissions by both state and defence lawyers, the court convicted Mwale, Jere and Folosani of one count of conspiracy to commit murder but acquitted them in other three counts.

The court has since acquitted the fourth accused person Alick Kambani due to lack of substantive evidence on his involvement.

The court heard that the fourth accused was in Zambia when the incident happened.

Presiding Judge, Esme Chombo has therefore asked both the state and the defence to present their final written submission before July 15, 2019 after which she is expected to pass the sentence.

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Kelvin Chaguza
He obtained his MSCE certificate at Namitete secondary school in 2009. Then enrolled at Skyway University where he got his journalism ABMA certificate. He obtained ABMA Diploma in journalism in 2014 at Blantyre Institute of Management (BIM). His hobbies are singing, reading books and traveling.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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