Prison chief died of poisoning – report
The former Chief Commissioner of Prisons, McDonald Chaona, died of acute poisoning which led to respiratory failure, Malawi News has learnt. Chaona was found dead in the morning of Saturday, April 21, 2012, at his house.
Official post mortem results on the cause of the death have ruled out any indication that he died of natural causes.
According to an autopsy number PM/CPD/ ANAT/041/12 the cause of death was: "Respiratory failure due to or as the consequence of, acute poisoning by a carbamate in the form of 'sevin'"
Toxicology results have revealed that there were poisonous substances consistent with sevin on internal organs like the heart, lung, liver, kidney, brain and the stomach.
The report done by pathologist Dr. Charles Dzamalala was released on June 8, 2012.
In an interview Prison's doctor Henry Ndindi said Sevin poison is a chemical used to kill insects in vegetables.
Ndindi explained that they met the family on Thursday and briefed them on the findings before giving them the report.
"Mr. Chaona died of poisoning but we don't know if he took the poison himself or that the poison was administered to him. As a hospital we were just identifying what he died of.
"On other issues I suppose it is the duty of the police to investigate since they were involved from the beginning as you know Mr. Chaona was just found dead," said Dr. Ndindi.
When contacted pathologist Dr. Charles Dzamalala who did the postmortem refused to comment on the report although he said he had already issued the final postmortem report to the Malawi Prisons Services doctor, Henry Ndindi.
"I issued the final postmortem report to Dr. Ndindi who said he will pass it on to the prison, police and relatives. You can ask him about the findings," Dzamalala said on Wednesday.
In a separate interview Rodrick Chaona who is a brother to late former Chief Commissioner of Prisons said as a family they would like the whole nation to know what killed the late. Chaona.
He confirmed receiving the report by Dr. Ndindi in the presence of other officials, adding his family was optimistic that the police will do a good job to bring justice and find the culprits.
"When my brother died not only the nation was asking questions about how he had died but also us as a family we had similar questions. Now that the postmortem report has indicated that my brother died of poisoning we want to know who did this.
"We would like the investigations to start from within the family because my brother had two wives who were known to us and as a result there were some disagreements within the family," he said.
Spokesperson for Eastern region police Thomeck Nyaude said he could not comment on the matter as he had not seen the report.
"As police we have been given the report but I haven't seen it neither has my boss. Once that is done there are procedures which need to be followed," Nyaude said