ZOMBA-(MalawianWatchdog)—High Court Judge Zione Ntaba who is niece to presidential adviser Hetherwick Ntaba has recused herself in a murder case of a 22-year-old young man with albinism MacDonald Masambuka after Alfred Yohane, one of the suspects, implicated some high profile Malawi government politicians including her uncle Dr. Hertherwick Ntaba, an aide to president Peter Mutharika.
Yohane, represented by lawyer Trouble Kalua from Legal Aid Bureau, on Thursday mentioned in court some top politicians serving in the current administration as being behind the attacks, abductions and killings of people with albinism in the country.
But Judge Ntaba stopped him from mentioning the names and gave a gagging order to the media not to report about the names implicated.
However, Yohane has maintained that he will not change his statements even if he is ‘beheaded’ saying he stands for the truth.
Ntaba said she cannot preside over a case in which the conduct of her close relative is a serious issue.
“This court believes in the integrity of the Malawian justice system as well as the independence, impartiality and integrity of judicial officers such as myself.
“It is evident that the defence desires to lead evidence concerning my uncle and therefore it is not my wish to stand in the defence’s way.
“Further, judicial ethics state that I should not preside over a case where the conduct of a close relative such as my uncle is a significant issue. Therefore, I hereby recuse myself from continuing to try this matter,”Ntaba said in a statement.
She then apologised to the Masambuka family for her decision saying she hopes they will find justice in another court.
Yesterday, a suspect Alfred Yohane told the court that himself, Father Thomas Muhosha and a medical officer Kondwani Kamanga killed Masambuka after being hired by government officials.
Meanwhile, the Association of People with Albinism (APAM) has rejected the security gadgets which the government has bought to aid in monitoring the security of people with albinism.
APAM Deputy Secretary General Ian Simbota confirmed this in an interview, saying APAMhas rejected the gadgets because they have been personalised.
The gadgets come in a blue colour and have an inscription: “APM Cares”.
According to Simbota, the gadgets were bought using tax-payers’ money hence, it is wrong to personalise them.