Commentators have said the statement by newly-confirmed Inspector General (IG) of Police Rodney Jose to clear himself on allegations that he had a hand in the murder of Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa, could give a lead to help investigating the mysterious death of the fourth year engineering student.
Chasowa was on September 24 2011 found dead at the Polytechnic campus in Blantyre and police declared his death as suicide, claiming he had jumped from high rise building but it was revealed he was murdered by regime thugs with knowledge of police top brass.
Jose was Commissioner for Southern Region at the time of the incident and a presidential commission of inquiry instituted by the former president Joyce Banda established that the student was murdered.
The opposition and civil society groups have implicated Jose as one of the persons who masterminded the murder.
But speaking at Police headquarters in Lilongwe to reporters, Jose challenged anyone with evidence to take him to court, claiming “my conscious is very clear.”
“The first witness that I never had a hand in Chasowa’s death is God. The second witness is the spirit of Chasowa itself,” said Jose.
He, however, confessed that he worked with Chasowa “but on a professional level.”
Human rights campaigner and governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali said it is good that Jose has finally come out of his cocoon to publicly clear his name in the midst of allegations of his possible involvement in the Chasowa murder.
However, Munthali said such a confession does not do much in clearing his name in the alleged act “particularly in the absence of conclusion to the investigations into the matter.”
He said: “Nevertheless, his confession can still help investigators to probe more on the matter.
“For instance, while denying of being part and parcel of the murder of Chasowa, Jose acknowledges of having a professional working relationship with Chasowa. What ‘professional working’ was there between him and Chasowa? How professional was that professional working?”
Munthali also queried the objectives of such a “professional working” between the top cop and the student.
Law expert Edge Kanyongo has however observed that by virtue of his confirmation as top cop, it would be difficult for Jose to investigate himself.
And the governance expert said this might as well be an end of seven years quest for justice on Chasowa murder.
In April this year, civil society organisations (CSOs) held nationwide demonstrations and presented a petition to President Peter Mutharika on various issues, including the reversing of Jose’s appointment.
One of the CSOs leaders Gift Trapence said the IG confirmation is bad for democracy.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :