Ex-President Joyce Banda’s Relative-Murder suspect Chanthunya Returns Today
Brother to Former President Joyce Banda’s spokesperson Andekuche Chanthinya and a close relation to Malawi Ex- President who until today was a murder suspect and long-time fugitive from justice, Misozi Chanthunya, returns home from South Africa where he has been living since the time Banda was country’s Vice President and aided his exit from Malawi as part of his extradition agreement.
This follows last week court determination that Chanthunya lived up to his word; withdrawing all applications against the extradition process which the South African Minister of Justice had ordered in 2012 after Chanthunya was declared a fugitive from justice by Malawian court.
Chanthunya is accused of killing his ex-girlfriend, 25-year-old Linda Gasa in 2010. Gasa was a student at College of Accountancy Blantyre campus.
Chanthunya fled the country and was arrested in South Africa by South African authorities in 2012.
The murder suspect has been fighting his extradition in South African courts since but last week he withdrew his objection and agreed to be extradited to Malawi.
Chathunya is expected to touch down at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in Malawi’s capital city Lilongwe, at 4.30 pm, Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Pirirani Majamanda confirmed to Nation Newspaper.
“I can confirm that Mr. Chanthunya arrives in the country tomorrow (Thursday),” he said.
Previously, Chanthunya’s lawyers had cited the country’s continued retention of the death penalty for murder cases on its statutes as one of the reasons he opposed his extradition but the court also ruled against his objections during last week’s hearing.
While still in South African prison, Chanthunya launched a bid to get bail through the Malawi High Court.
However, the bail application hit a snag after a judge in the case, Justice Esmie Chombo, recused herself from the case citing “phone calls” she had received in connection to the case.
The judge did not indicate whether the calls were threats or an attempt to influence her handling of the case.