By Chancy Namadzunda:
Mahomed Hannif, a Pakistan national who is answering defilement and corruption charges is reportedly on the run.
The 57-year-old suspect is alleged to have defiled a 14-year-old school girl in Mudi Residential Area in Limbe on March 15, 2020 after he offered her a lift.
He was arrested and charged with defilement, before the Limbe Police prosecutor handling the matter sub inspector Ishmael Abubast, changed it to rape.
Abubast later requested presiding magistrate Martin Chipofya to withdraw the case, a development which raised eyebrows.
Centre for Human Rights Education Advice and Advocacy (Chreaa) took up the issue and wrote the Inspector General of Police to re-arrest the accused and also ACB to investigate corrupt elements by police officers handling the matter.
According to a statement jointly released by CHREAA and Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), Hannif has absconded trial and is now a fugitive.
“The public is hereby being notified that Mahomed Hannif, who was being prosecuted for defilement and corruption charges, absconded trial and is now a fugitive. A warrant of arrest has therefore been issued against him.
“CHREAA and MHRC, who are both supporting the prosecution of the case, are therefore appealing to the general public to immediately report to the nearest Police Station, CHREAA or MHRC offices if they know of Mahomed Hannif’s whereabouts.
“We further wish to warn the general public that should anyone be found to be aiding the fugitive in any way shall face the arm of the law Let us all work together in the fight against sexual violence.
“Should you have further details regarding Mahomed Hannif’s where abouts, please contact the following MHRC on 0999 505 859, 0887 393 665/ 01 779 040 and the police on 01 750 900/0999 003 555,” reads part of the statement