State to ask for exhumation of Mtekama’s body

The late Bob Mtekama

An inquest is underway to establish what caused the death of former Director of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) at the Malawi Police Service Bob Mtekama and the coroner is trying to know all the facts leading to his demise.

Mtekama died on August 4, 2020, in Blantyre under mysterious circumstances and according to the Police, he succumbed to COVID-19 which some members of the family disputed.

A total of 14 witnesses including five police officers testified on Wednesday and Thursday and the rest are expected to testify in the inquest before Chief Resident Magistrate Patrick Chirwa.

Senior state advocate for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Pilirani Masanjala stated that it is important that after an inquest has been done, there will be the need to do an exhumation of the body to allow for a postmortem.

A file photo of some of the people who attended Mtekama's funeral 

“As part of an inquest we turn to ask for exhumation of the body so that there can be a postmortem that must be done so that we can scientifically find out as to what the cause of death is. The law provides natural proper ways which can be done if somebody passes away while in custody or they pass away maybe perhaps in hospital without a proper reason

“So the law does provide for an inquest to be done. To sum up this, even if somebody passes away not under these circumstances, you are allowed to approach a court and make an application for an inquest to be done. So in this particular case, what happened was when the request is made, the law say that we should go to the High Court to pray for an inquest to be done. We came to the Magistrates court as a Coroner to do the inquest,” he said.

After substantive hearing of the witnesses finishes then the state will pray to the court for exhumation of the body.