Malawi’s Chief State Advocate in the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Pacharo Kayira has said government is committed to see justice prevail over all the extrajudicial killings including those of University student Robert Chasowa and Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) official Issa Njaunju.
Kayira made these remarks at the 58th Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights in Banjul, Gambia where he is leading the delegation of Malawi government at the event to give an update of Malawi’s implementation plan of the recommendations which the African Commission made to Malawi after its 57th Session last year.
SADC Civil Society Organizations including Open Society Initiative in Southern Africa (OSISA) and Malawi’s Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) as well as Centre for Development of People (Cedep) expressed concern over the prevailing culture of impunity over extrajudicial killings in Malawi.
“The delays in the investigations of the murder of Anti-Corruption Bureau officer Issa Njaunju, the prevailing culture of impunity over extrajudicial killings of July 20, 2011, student activist Robert Chasowa’s murder and threats and arson to offices of human rights defenders between 2011 and 2012, and the recent lack of political will for the state to condemn threats and protect some human rights defenders, journalists, and Anti-Corruption Bureau director from the alleged death threats are nothing but a diversion from Malawi’s obligations before the African Charter,” reads the statement – made available to Nyasa Times –presented by Makhumbo Munthali a CHRR Governance and Human Rights Advocacy Coordinator on behalf of the SADC CSOs.
However, taking his flow Malawi chief state advocate indicated that government was doing a lot in order to ensure that justice prevails not only on the killings of Chasowa and Njaunju but also on persons with albinism.
“Chairperson and Commissioners, you will recall the issue of a University of Malawi student named Robert Chasowa who was found dead a few years ago. The quest to find the perpetrators of this crime is ongoing and as we have stated before the Government is committed to ensure that justice is served,” said Kayira.
Chasowa, a former fourth-year engineering student at the Polytechnic, as found dead near the dispensary and finance blocks office at the Polytechnic campus on September 24 2011 under questionable circumstances.
The inquiry into the student’s death named 15, including Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) top official, Noel Masangwi, boxing promoter Mike Chitenje and former and current Big Bullets Football Club supporters chairpersons Isaac Osman and Stone Mwamadi respectively.
In his address, Kayira also commented on the brutal murder of former Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director of corporate affairs, Njaunju who was found dead on July 4 2015 with his body half-buried near Lilongwe River and his Toyota Hilux double-cabin vehicle burnt to ashes behind the presidential villas in Lilongwe.
“So far one suspect has been arrested,” said Kayira.
In his statement to the session, Kayira also said Malawi has “ witnessed a rise in attacks on persons with albinism.”
However, he said , t here is “a serious commitment” at the highest level of Government to deal with this evil practice.
“Barely last week, the Head of State made a special appeal for joined efforts in dealing with attacks on persons with albinism. It is our sincere hope that this practice will be uprooted,” said Kayira before the Commission.
Kayira also told the African Commission that the Access to Information Bill was now ready for tabling in Parliament.
“The much talked about Access to Information Bill is now ready for tabling in Parliament. It was necessary for the Bill to undergo the appropriate processes before tabling and as such the government of Malawi wishes to emphasize its long held commitment to enact the Bill into law.” Said Kayira.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :