The former state President, Professor Peter Mutharika has rejected allegations of his involvement in selling of the bones of persons with albinism saying Dr Chakwera’s government is just drumming up the malicious and propaganda against him to divert public opinion from corruption scandals.
The former first citizen and his ex-aide Hetherwick Ntaba face criminal proceedings in connection with the 2018 murder in Machinga of MacDonald Masambuka, a 24-year-old man with albinism.
In a letter dated July 1 2022 addressed to the office of the Inspector General of Police, Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Steve Kayuni directed Malawi Police Service to begin criminal proceedings following some testimonies during Masambuka’s case.
Reads the letter in part:
“During the testimony and actual judgement, names of Messrs. His Excellency Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika [former President of the Republic of Malawi] and Dr Hetherwick Ntaba, then presidential adviser and chairperson of the National Task Force on Persons with Albinism, were now and again mentioned as having a part in the allegations.”
Reacting to the matter, Mutharika through a statement released on Wednesday said the goal of Chamwera’s government is to destroy his name.
The statement reads in part, “I am once again very sad note that Dr Lazarus Chakwera’s government has started drumming up the same malicious propaganda against me in order to divert public opinion from corruption scandals, the with sing cost of living, total loss of economic direction and complete failure of leadership. I am fully aware that Chakwera’s government is conspiring day and night to cook up charges that should destroy my name for reasons best known to them.
“This propaganda was created by political forces who paid prison labouringtart making ridiculous allegations that I was involved in selling bones of people with albinism. Hitherto, those rumour mongers have not been taken to task and some of them are part of his Government. I totally reject these allegations and challenge Government to release the Report and proceed with its investigations. It is a purely false, malicious and evil propaganda.
Professor Mutharika added that he is a man of love and peace and has challenged Dr Chakwera’s government to focus on dealing corruption cases that have swelled in Malawi.
“I want to challenge Dr Chakwera and his government to focus on decisively acting on their corruption scandals, the current economic crisis and begin to provide leadership to save Malawians who are suffering from the rising cost of living instead of wasting time laboring to destroy my name and reputation. I proudly served the people of Malawi, including people with albinism, and I shall always remain a man who seeks love, peace and unity among all Malawians,” added the statement.
Mutharika during his tenure, in 2019 appointed a commission of enquiry to carry out an independent investigation to investigate the spate of attacks, abductions and killings of people living with albinism and the report was expected to be submitted to the President by 30th April 2019.
However, the report was not submitted due to the issues of elections and the work was resumed in May 2020 and the final report was submitted in June 2020.
Mutharika said the report contains the truth of the matter and has challenged the Chakwera’s government to make it available to the public to know the truth.
“I urge Chakwera to release the Report of the commission of enquiry. I have a copy of the Report but out of respect for the presidency, I leave it to him to release it. But if he does not, then I will be compelled to make it available to the public,” said Mutharika.
MacDonald Masambuka, went missing on March 9 2018 and his body was later found buried in a garden on April 2 near Makawa Village.