Murder Convicts Chirwa and Khonje

MZUZU-(MaraviPost)-The Malawi High Court sitting in Nkhata Bay on Wednesday sentenced two men to life imprisonment with hard labour for killing a 54-year-old person with albinism in the district.

The High Court Justice Chimwemwe Kamowa found the duo identified as Frank Mkweni Khonje, 21, and Bonzo Chirwa aged 54. guilty of the murder charge

According to the court verdict Khonje and Chirwa killed Yasin Kwenda Phiri at his home on New Year’s Eve in 2018.

Phiri was brutally murdered in his house at Kande in NkhataBay district, in the presence of his 9-year-old son.

The criminals broke into the house through the window and stabbed Phiri to death right in his bedroom. The boy who was sleeping in a separate room was warned not to shout.

The thugs then dragged Phiri’s body to a distance of about 20 metres where they chopped both his hands and heart.

The murderers further took Kwenda Phiri’s body and dumped it into a nearby bush.

Following the murder, Malawi Police in 2019 arrested seven suspects.

Thereafter, in June last year, four of the suspects were found with a case to answer while the other three were acquitted. The four were Frank Kweni Khonje, Peter Phoya, Gwera Banda and Bonzo Chirwa.

In March this year, Judge Dorothy DeGabrielle who was hearing the case convicted Khonje and Chirwa while Phoya and Banda were acquitted due to lack of sufficient evidence.

The Malawi Law Society described the murder of Phiri as “deeply shocking”  and “a huge step backwards in the fight against these ritual related gruesome murders”.

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