25 years in jail for men who killed albino teen in Malawi

Lilongwe - Two Malawian men have been sentenced to 25 years in jail for the murder of a 17-year-old albino boy, a report said on Thursday.

According to the Nyasa Times, Vuto Biswick, together with his accomplice Emmanuel Robert, pleaded guilty to the charge and were sentenced accordingly. 

Passing down sentencing, first grade Magistrate Enete Jiya Banda, described the offence as "an unwelcomed act" in society.  

Banda sentenced the the men to six years in jail for the first count of conspiracy to commit a crime, adding another 12 years for the second charge of abduction, which she said would run concurrently.

They both received 13-year sentences for the third charge of trafficking.

Abductions and killings 

However, state prosecutor Superintendent Patrick Bean Chambuluka said that he was still going to look into the issue, as the southern African country had a maximum of 21 years for trafficking.

The two men reportedly abducted and murdered Davis Fletcher on April 23 from the Dedza district in Malawi.

The boy's body was found in neighbouring Mozambique 10 days after his disappearance.

The ruling came just less than a month after an international human rights watchdog Amnesty International slammed the Southern African nation for its failure to protect people living with albinism.

The human right watchdog said this after the horrific murder of an albino baby in Malawi's Kasungu District.

According to reports, Malawi had recently seen a widespread increase of abductions and killings of people living with albinism, with the United Nations revealing that at least 65 cases had been recorded since 2014

The number of Malawians with albinism is estimated at around 10 000 out of a population of 17 million.

Ikponwosa Ero, a UN independent expert on the rights of persons with albinism, told reporters last week that Malawians living with albinism were "an endangered group facing a risk of systemic extinction over time if nothing is done".