Malawi’s international cooperating partners have called for a “speedy and transparent investigation” into the murder of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director of corporate services Issa Njauju and warned against attempts to cripple the bureau through intimidation and bribery
British High Commissioner to Malawi, Michael Nevin, speaking on behalf of diplomats from United State Virginia Palmer, EU representatives and others from Germany, Norway and Ireland who visited ACB offices on Thursday, said investigations now taken over by police into Njaunju death must be handled with great respect and speed to bring the criminals to book.
Nevin said the investigations should come to its logical conclusion.
“It is important that this particular investigation is concluded because this is a road to impunity,” said the British diplomat.
“We call on government and all sections of Malawi society to help and protect those who are in the frontline of defending Malawi’s rule of law,” he said.
Njauju was brutally murdered and his body thrown aside presidential villas along presidential drive in the capital city’s Area 44 on July 2 2015.
His body was found with two gunshot wounds according to an autopsy report and his official car a Toyota Hilux D4D double cabin was burnt down to ashes at Mtsiriza near Area 49 in Lilongwe.
Some sections of the society are speculating that ACB boss was killed by a “state-sponsored” mafia-style attack.
Post-mortem results showed that Njauju was shot twice in the neck and chest before he was buried near Lilongwe River.
Nevin said: “If people feel they can get away with the murder, a heinous murder such as this, then it will spread. It is important to send a message that this is unacceptable in Malawi.”
He also expressed the diplomatic community’s “deepest condolences” to the family of Njaunju.
Nevin further pointed out that the donor community will continue supporting government agencies, ACB in particular.
“The more we invest in fight against corruption, the more the money that will be saved, the more the money that will be retained for Malawi’s developmental projects in Health, Education and Agriculture among others,” he noted.
Njauju’s brutal murder has sent shockwaves among officers working in agencies investigating and prosecuting corruption in the country.
ACB boss Lucas Kondowe said officers are still “terrified” since the murder of Njaunju , saying “it has been tough” going .
Kondowe said Njaunju was not just an ordinary ACB worker but a key staff member as “a senior director.”
He said: “Obviously we are all in a state of shock.”
Police said investigations shows cashgate – probe into systematic plunder of public resources – could be the reason to Njaunju’s savage murder.
Director of training at Police headquarters, Richard Luhanga told a news conference in Lilongwe recently that the investigators are pursuing a number of conspiracies.
“We cannot rule out that murder is connected to his work [at ACB),” said Luhanga, a senior police commissioner.
“What we are doing right now is to connect the dots,” he said.
Luhanga said police are following up “a sequence of events” that took place a day before Njauju was murdered.
Police also hinted at what Nyasa Times reported that the murder of Njauju could have been a case of mistaken identity.
“We are doing our interrogations with various people and also analysing information that we are currently getting from the public. At the moment, all options are welcome,” he said.
Government through Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu has since said it is considering a comprehensive review of security of ACB officers and public prosecutors.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :