DPP secures conviction in manslaughter case

The High Court in Lilongwe has today convicted Beyod Chapotera, a police officer who shot dead his garden boy on April 28 2021.

The court learnt that Chapotera, who was a resident of Area 3 in Lilongwe, came out of his house this night armed with a loaded gun.

The convict, 48, from Faiti Village, Traditional Authority Phambala in Ntcheu, met a group of police officers who had arrested his garden boy, Conwell Zenasi.

The court learnt that Chapotera told the police officers that the man they arrested was his bodyguard, and not a criminal. The officers on patrol, the court learnt, earlier that night came face to face with two people who disappeared into the compound of Chapotera. It transpired later that the two were Zenasi, the deceased, and his girlfriend.

The court was told that after Chapotera convinced his fellow men in uniform that Zenasi was not a criminal, they set him free. And after the police officers left, Chapotera also allowed Zenasi's girlfriend to leave, but seconds later, a gun shot was heard.

Zenasi was shot in the back by Chapotera and he died. Chapotera, being represented by private practice lawyer Khwima Mchizi, claimed that the discharge of the bullet was accidental.

But Mathews Chione, a lawyer from the Directorate of Public Prosecutions, argued this was negligent and prayed for conviction of the accused on a manslaughter charge he was given.

Justice Anabel Mtalimanja agreed with the State that it proved its case and proceeded to convict the accused on the manslaughter charge.


The court has given parties 14 days to make their submissions before a sentence is handed down.

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