Chief Justice Stops Lower Magistrates Courts Handling Albino Cases

The Chief Justice Andrew Nyirenda has ordered all lower grade magistrates courts not to handle cases of abductions and killings of people with albinism.

According to a circular signed by Nyirenda to all courts across the country, only senior magistrates and Judges are now the only judicial officers mandated to handle any kind of case related to albino abduction or killing.

Kaumba sentenced to life imprisonment- file photo

Kaumba sentenced to life imprisonment- file photo

The directive comes following complaints from some quarters of the society that the courts have been lenient in their sentences on those implicated in the malpractice.

Judiciary spokesperson Mlenga Mvula told the local media on Wednesday that the decision has been made to ensure that magistrates handling such cases are those with stiff sentencing jurisdictions.

“Third grade, second grade and first grade magistrates’ do not have much jurisdiction in terms of sentencing convicts,” said Mvula.

Mvula said the directive came about following people’s dissatisfaction or concerns over the meting out of sentences for the people who have been found guilty of the offences in question

“So, the circular has been issued to ensure that courts with higher jurisdiction are handling cases to do with abductions and killings of people with albinism,” Mvula added.

The victim

One of the victims

About 18 albinos have been killed, 14 kidnapped, three missing and 28 graves tampered with.

This week the High Court in Mzuzu made a landmark ruling by sentencing a convict implicated in albino abduction and attempted killing to life imprisonment with hard labour.

There have been calls championed by Mulanje South Parliamentarian Bon Kalindo for the country to start imposing death sentences on those convicted of such crimes.

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