Woman accused of buying human tissue found with no case answer

Legal aid and Katunga

The High Court sitting at Phalombe has set free Grace Katunga after finding that she has no case to answer in a matter where she was accused of conspiring to harm a person with albinism and buying human tissue.

Around August 2020, a boy with Albinism (Yosefe Muyaya) was murdered and investigations led to the arrest of a number of people including Patrick Muhemvule and Zione Mukhala.

Mukhala (now deceased) implicated Grace Katunga as the intended buyer of the bones of Yosefe Muyaya.

The court already sentenced to life imprisonment Patrick Muhevule for the murder of the 14-year-old Muyaya while further sentencing him to 25 years imprisonment for extracting human tissue and 25 years for trafficking in persons.

While Muhevule was convicted on all counts, the court found the fifth accused person, Frank Nakuphethe, and the sixth accused person, Liston Mapondo Kachochola not guilty and they were acquitted.

Grace Katunga was however arrested after a trial involving the other accused persons had been concluded. In court, she was represented by Legal Aid Bureau's Senior Legal Aid Advocate Steve Mchenga and Principal Legal Aid Advocate Kellicia Chingeni.

After looking at the evidence, Justice Masoamphambe found that there was no sufficient evidence to prove that there was a conspiracy to harm Yosefe Muyaya and Katunga was part of the conspiracy (agreement).

The court also found that there was no sufficient evidence to prove that she purchased human tissue belonging to the said Yosefe Muyaya and based on these findings, it was found that the state failed to make a prima facie case against her, hence the acquittal.