‘Mtopwa One’, Chitenje freed on bail: Chasowa murder trial Malawi

The High Court in Blantyre has finally released on bail the remaining suspects in the Polytechnic student, Robert Chasowa’s murder case just hours it freed six others connected to the same case.

The High Court judge, Sylvester Kalembera, freed on bail boxing promoter, Mike “Bangwe One’ Chitenje, Police constable, Stanford Horea, Stoni John and Isaac ‘Mtopwa One’ Osman on similar conditions he set for Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the South Noel Masangwi and his alleged accomplices.

Earlier on, the court had granted bail to Masangwi, DPP youth director, Lewis Ngalande, Frank Julius, Sam Chulu, Dolph Geoffrey Botomani and Petros Tembo who are part of the main suspects in the Chasowa murder case.

Lawyer Chancy Gondwe representing Chitenje, Horea, John and Osman, was all over the moon following the release of his clients.

Chitenje: ‘Bangwe One’ released on bail

“Justice has been granted. Now I can say, the high court today has granted bail to 10 suspects in Chasowa murder case. From here we will be waiting for the Sate to conclude its investigation and commence the court proceeding,” Gondwe told Nyasa Times just after the court ruling.

Justice Kalembera has ordered Chitenje, Horea, John and Osman, who were not present at the court, to pay a bail bond of K200, 000 and provide two sureties each. The provided sureties are expected to provide a bond of K250, 000.

The judge also ordered the suspects to report to Southern Region Police Headquarters twice a week-on Mondays and Fridays-surrender their travelling documents and must not leave Blantyre.

Peaceful

Unlike in the morning during bail application for Masangwi and five others, there was no tension during the afternoon court hearing, which took less than 10 minutes to conclude.

In the morning there was tension at the court. armed police officers heavily guarded the premise and people had to be searched before granted an entry into the court premises while others were refused admission.

DPP supporters who converged at the court in the morning were not present during the afternoon session but were seen grouping at Kamuzu stadium upper ground were Mulli Brothers trucks which ferried them to court were parked.

Chasowa was found dead on the college campus last year and a report by inquiry committee set by President Joyce Banda has implicated about 14 people include some DPP officials.

Background

Chasowa, who studied engineering, was found dead at a college cumpus Blantyre in September last year. Police said he had jumped to his death from a five-storey building and produced bogus suicide notes as evidence.

But a Justice Andrew Nyirenda-led inquiry ordered by President Joyce Banda, who succeeded Bingu wa Mutharika after his death in April, rule that Chasowa had in fact been murdered.
President Banda promised that the culprits would “face the full wrath of the law”.

Chasowa, the chairman of a student activist group, Youth for Democracy (YFD), had published anti-Mutharika government leaflets before his death.

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