Former President Peter Mutharika’s step son Tadikira Mafubza is facing human trafficking charges after the police charged him on Thursday, his lawyer has said.
Mafubza was arrested on Wednesday in connection with the death of 30 Ethiopian immigrants whose bodies were found in a forest in Mzimba some weeks ago.
Mafubza’s lawyer Gilbert Khonyongwa said the driver of the vehicle suspected to have been used to transport and dump bodies of foreign nationals in Mtangatanga Forest Reserve in Mzimba, Sam Naveya, also surrendered to the police on Thursday.
Khonyongwa said during police interrogations, the driver told the police that Mafubza was not aware of the kind of business he had been doing until on Wednesday when the police called Mafubza.
The two are expected to appear before the Lilongwe Magistrate’s court on Friday.
National Police Spokesperson Peter Kalaya said on Thursday there is overwhelming evidence that Mafubza Mutharika knows something on the matter.
Kalaya further said police have been hunting for Mutharika’s step son for the past three days before he got the wind and handed himself to Police Headquarters in Lilongwe.
On exactly how the stepson to the former President is connected to the mass graves of Mzimba, Kalaya refused to divulge more information, saying investigations are underway.
Last month, police discovered the mass graves of suspected Ethiopian immigrants in the Mzimba forest, and this is the first arrest since the discovery.
Public records show that this is not the first time Mutharika’s stepson has been on the security agencies’ radar. In August 2020 the Human Rights Defenders Coalition reported Mafubza Mutharika to be investigated for how he used a company known as Black and Veach to get an alleged K7.8 billion payment from the DPP-led administration.
Meanwhile, former diplomat Ziliro Chibambo, warns that Malawi risks igniting a diplomatic row over its failure to produce a detailed report on the discovery of a mass grave holding 29 suspected illegal immigrants.
Chiwambo said there was need for authorities to handle the matter with speed in order to avoid a diplomatic row.
Government authorities are yet to comment on the matter.