By Faith Kamtambe:
Association of People with Albinism in Malawi (Apam) has said it wants a pathologist to do a forensic postmortem on the remains of Luke Buleya, who is one of the key suspects in the abduction of a boy with albinism, Goodson Makanjira, in Dedza District.
Buleya died in police custody on Wednesday, weeks after another man who was among the suspects in the abduction of an 18-month-old baby with albinism in Karonga District committed suicide.
Goodson was abducted last week in Dedza and his step-father, Patson Kumbilani, has pleaded guilty to the boy’s abduction, saying he was duped by Buleya who offered him K800,000 in exchange for the boy.
Buleya died at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), where he was taken after complaining that he was ill.
Lilongwe Police spokesperson, Kingsley Dandaula, said the suspect had been complaining while in the court that he was not feeling well and continued to complain in a cell at Lilongwe Police Station.
“The suspect was taken to KCH and, unfortunately, he passed away. His remains are still at the hospital’s mortuary waiting for a postmortem,’’ he said.
But Apam President, Overstone Kondowe, said they suspect foul play.
“We demand an urgent forensic postmortem by a pathologist before burial. This is a great setback. How can a key suspect die while in police custody, before revealing where he sold Goodson,” he said.
The association was hoping that the arrest of Buleya would give a clue on the market for body parts of persons with albinism and help authorities deal with the attacks and murders that have cost lives of 24 people in over 160 attacks since 2014.
When he appeared before Lilongwe Magistrates Court on Wednesday, Buleya denied the allegations despite Kumbilani telling the court that it was Buleya who told him that he would give him K800,000 if he abducted the boy.
Kumbilani also told the court that Buleya told him that he knew the market for people with albinism.
The second accused also told the court that Buleya, who was like a middleman, promised to give them money.
However, Buleya denied knowing the two, saying they just wanted to tarnish his image. While in court, Buleya repeatedly asked for water, telling the court that he was unwell.
Buleya’s wife and his relatives stormed Lilongwe Police Station, accusing the men in uniform of killing the suspect.