The High Court Judge, Zione Ntaba has been asked to recuse herself from the ongoing albino murder case after it has transpired that she is a niece to the high profile government official implicated in the case, Dr. Hetherwick Ntaba.
Ntaba is among the three high-ranking Malawi government officials implicated in the abduction case of MacDonald Masambuka, a person with Calvinism who is suspected to have been killed for rituals.
The name of Ntaba was mentioned alongside the other two top government officials, Henry Mussa and Nicholas Dausi who are both senior ministers in President Peter Mutharika’s administration.
One of the suspects, Alfred Yohane mentioned the names at Zomba High Court on Thursday.
Yohane said he was hired together with the other suspects by the above mentioned government officials to abduct and kill Masambuka.
The mentioned officials are said to be linked to high ranking officials at the State House and the office of the President.
The court had however directed the media not to mentioned the names that were implicated in the case but legal experts say the media will name and shame those implicated because the court cannot enforce the order to shield them.
“Criminal proceedings are on any law required to be conducted in public for fair trial, transparency and accountability. Because of space and other logistical reasons not all members of the public can attend the criminal trial. As such, the media reports on the proceedings to inform the public about what is happening in court,” said the legal expert.
The body of Masambuka, 22, who hailed from Nakawa Village, Traditional Authority Nkoola in Machinga district was found buried on April 1, 2018 after he was reported missing in March the same year.
Among the the 13 suspects in the case is a Roman Catholic Priest from Zomba Diocese, Fr. Thomas Muhosha and the late Masambuka’s brother, Cassim White Masambuka who faces three charges of murder, trafficking of persons and another person to harm a person with disability.