Police spokesperson James Kadadzera says the arrests follow receipt of a case file on the matter from the office of Director of Public Prosecutions-DPP-, Mary Kachale
“The DPP has directed that all police officers implicated in the death of Buleya Lule be prosecuted. Meanwhile the 12 suspected police officers have been arrested in connection with the offense of murder.
“Buleya Lule, 44, died in police custody in Lilongwe and was a suspect in the abduction and killing of a 14 year old boy with albinism in Dedza,” said Kadadzera adding that the 12 will appear in court on Monday July 13, 2020.
Buleya was suspect in the abduction and murder of Goodson Makanjira, the 14-year-old boy with albinism from Mphanyama village in Traditional Authority Chilikumwendo, Dedza.
The development, coming hot on the heels of assumption to office of a new government administration coming from the opposition has raised eyebrows as to whether the previous administration deliberately sat on.
The death of Buleya Lule is thought to hold some clue on hitherto mysterious but senseless murders of people with albinism in the country. Civil society and the Malawi Human Rights Commission-MHRC has been vocal about this particular matter which never saw light of day.
Aside Police Commissioner Chisale, other senior officers implicated in the 2019 MHRC report are Paul Chipole, Ikram Malata, Ronnex Kapesa, and a Mervin Gama.
Immediate past President Peter Mutharika, left office before making public findings of a commission he instituted to probe root of the killings of people with albinism.
An autopsy into the death of Lule found that the man was tortured at Lilongwe Police Station where he died just after he appeared before a magistrate on February 21, 2019. The body of Lule was found with serious hot iron marks in the buttocks.
Since 2014, twenty two murders of persons with albinism were reported in the country and there were over 160 cases of abductions.
Reported crimes of persons with albinism have been longstanding in Malawi and linked to myths that body parts of the vulnerable people have magical powers for various fortunes.
But only a few of these attacks have been conclusively investigated and prosecuted.