State in Mzuzu Thursday October 19th paraded fourth and fifth witnesses in a case related to the discovery of a mass grave of 30 migrants at Mtangatanga forest in Mzimba last year.
The two a police criminal investigations officer for Mzimba police Baxter Mkumbwa and Pathologist Profffesor George Liomba appeared before
Judge Gladys Gondwe where they amongst other things provided evidence that the victims did not die a natural death.
First to testify was Mkumbwa who narrated how he learnt about the mass grave from the people that reported at Mzimba police station, and also tendered in court as evidence some of the items he picked from crime scene as evidence.
“We visited the crime scene and we found bodies in a decomposed state, some half buried in the mass grave. I also picked a few items that were on the scene including pieces of papers containing foreign phone numbers purportedly Ethiopian, bank deposit slip of an Ethiopian bank, an identity card with Arabic scribblings, a wrist watch and aluminum piece of motor vehicle,” he told the court, while also exhibiting the items.
However, during cross-examination the defense team wanted to know if indeed the contacts he saw were of Ethiopia numbers, which Mkumbwa confirmed he verified them using an undisclosed person.
Second witness Dr George Liomba in his testimony said he conducted an autopsy on 30 dead bodies that were in a decomposed state and infested with magots.
He told the court that the bodies had similar traits as they were all tall, slim, male adults between the ages of 25-45, and that 27 of the bodies wore dark trousers, while some only had no shirts.
The court was sent in chills when part of the report was telecasted showing pictures of dead bodies and part of the tissue that was examined to prove death was due to suffocation with Carbon Monoxide as a contributing factor.
“After examining the bodies we established there was no organ disease and no evidence of physical trauma. With the presence of magots we determined the bodies must have been in the forest for three to five days,” said Liomba
He however, said an autopsy conducted on internal organs of the five of the dead bodies revealed cherry red tissue which he said indicates presence of carbon monoxide.
He said they concluded the people did not die a natural death but death was due to suffocation with carbon monoxide.
A heated and interesting cross-examination ensued when defence lawyer Kolezi Phiri quizzed Liomba to clarify how he thinks organs can only turn cherry as a result of carbon monoxide infestation, but Liomba refused to conduct a medical lecture in court and referred the defence to google.
Judge Gladys Gondwe has since set November 27th to 30th November for continuation of trial, where defence will continue to parade more of its 14 witnesses.
Those answering the charges are Tadikila mafudza, Samuel Navaya, David Luhanga, Thomas Kazembe, Duncan Kalulu, Boniface Ngulube, Aubrey Dukes and Arnold Mwakiyelu
Communities of Lusale Traditional Authority Makhambira say they now feel safe from threats of waterborne diseases following construction of a 22 million Kwacha worth mechanized solar powered water supply system by World Vision Malawi serving over 700 households.
The communities say that, with the district too prone to waterborne diseases, such as Cholera, good water, sanitation and health WASH facilities are all that they need to beat such outbreaks.
Chairperson for Lisale mechanized solar powered water system Emily Mwase says communities from the area used to drink water direct from the stream and other unprotected sources a thing that was putting them at risk.
“This area has not registered any Cholera case recently because each household drinks safe water from the communal taps, it has clean pit latrines and also good hand washing facilities. We are grateful,” she said
In 2020, World Vision Malawi’s Sanga Area Program embarked on a project to install a water supply system with a ten-thousand-liter reservoir tank to three communities and three school at Lusale in Traditional Authority Mankhambira.
A team of World Vision WASH professionals from 20 countries in east and central Africa that is in the country for a three-week WASH capacity building training program by the Dessert Research Institute DRI and Mzuzu University, visited the area to appreciate and get hands on information on implementation of the WASH program in Nkhatabay.
Lead trainer from DRI Dr. Braimah Apambire has applauded WASH interventions being carried out at Sanga, saying the cadres have learnt a lot from what is being done and hope they will be able to apply it in their respective countries
“This face-to-face interaction is important for students as it gives them practical knowledge apart from the class and laboratory work which are part of the course outline,” said Apambire.
Sanga Area program manager Elarton Thawani says apart from the 22 million Kwacha mechanized solar powered water system, the project has also drilled 11 boreholes fitted with hand pumps serving about 3000 people, and also constructed pit-latrines in five different primary schools.
The 35 WASH cadres being trained have been drawn from Ghana, Uganda, Somalia, South Sudan, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sierra Leon, Senegal, Malawi just to mention a few.
A Malawian Themba Kalua has been appointed as United Nations Resident Coordinator for Samoa, this according to a statement released on Monday on the United Nations website. Kalua who resumed his new role effective August 5th, becomes first Malawian in recent history to have moved that high in the UN hierarchy.
Apart from Samoa, he will also be coordinating UN Development operations in three other countries in the Pacific region block including Cooks Islands, Niue and Tokelau.
Before his appointment, kalua has worked for a number of UN organizations including UN Women in South Africa, Kenya, and New York.
He also worked for the UN Environment program, UNDP, and World Food Program WFP.
Kalua 43 says he is humbled with the appointment and has since encouraged Malawians especially the youths not to look down upon themselves but to aim high.
'Am greatly humbled by this appointment, and I promise to serve and represent my country well. Let me also encourage youths, that they should not look down upon themselves, they can achieve more, I did my primary and secondary education in public schools in Malawi, went to a public university, Polytechnic, now (MUBAS). And this should encourage someone that everyone has the potential to achieve more in life," Said Kalua.
Human rights and development advocate Michael Kaiyatsa says Kaluas appointment is a sign that Malawi as a country has something to offer to the world.
"As a country we should be proud of what this son of the soil and many others have achieved. This also tells that as a country we have people that are being competed for at the global level, and that Malawi has something to offer to the world," he said.
Among other roles, UN Resident Coordinators are responsible of leading the UN country team in the development, monitoring and reporting on the UN corporation framework; representing the UN at the highest levels of state and also coordinating UN system-wide support to government.
Currently the UN has 130 resident coordinators worldwide that are servicing 162 countries’ and territories.
Over 33 thousand households surrounding Nyika National Park and Vwaza Wildlife Game Reserve in Rumphi and Mzimba districts will soon start drinking portable water ending years of drinking unsafe water from sources which they have in some cases shared with wild animals.
President Lazarus Chakwera says Malawi is set to benefit from the commitment support the United States government had made to Malawi at the just Ended U.S Africa Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC.
The United States government has pledged its commitment in supporting young people to bring together their talents and hard work for the benefit of people across the continent of Africa and the people in the United States.
Old Mutual Malawi says it is sad that the country continues to lose about 32,000 hectares of forest cover due to cutting down of trees for wood and charcoal every year at a time the country is already racing to 2040 which has been predicted that Malawi will have exhausted its off-reserve.
A group of concerned businesspersons and religious leaders in Mzuzu is demanding government to reverse its decision to extradite Prophet Shepherd Bushiri and his wife Mary to South Africa where the two are answering money laundering and fraud charges.
A consortium of youth organizations, Youth Decide Campaign has advised government to consider consulting the National Youth Manifesto if it is to be on track with implementation of youth related agendas.
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