Bishop Mkhori to head commission of inquiry

President Bingu wa Mutharika has named Catholic Bishop emeritus Felix EugenioMkhori to head the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the death of 19 people killed in cold blood during the July 2o nationwide demonstrations.

Mutharika promised to form the commission and also probe  into the death of Robert Chasowa, a Polytechnic student, who was murdered by state agents .

According to Office of President and Cabinet, the Commissioners in the inquiry of Chasowa saga include lawyer James Naphambo, former cop Titus Thyolamwendo, Apostle Timothy Khoviwa, Levi Mihowa, Chris Yiannakis and Father Raymond Likupe. All are loyalists to Mutharika administration.

Chasowa, a fourth year mechanical engineering Polytechnic student found dead on campus September 24. Police ruled his death as suicide by an autopsy report by Dr Charles Dzamalala indicated that he was beaten to death.

Mkhori: Head of the Commission

Meanwhile, it has emerged that Chasowa was among the youth who claim they had a K10 million deal with police to thwart the August 17 demonstrations, but that the relationship went sour when the money was not paid after the job was done.

According to a dossier on, the group says Chasowa started receiving anonymous phone threats after he had reportedly threatened to reveal government secrets in retaliation.

Police confirmed to two national weeklies, Weekend Nation and Malawi News that  they engaged the  Chasowa youth group  before the August 17 demonstration but  denied they promised to pay them K10 million.

Chasowa was a member of New Vision Youth Organisation (NVYO), established in 2001 to empower the youth economically. It was inactive until in July when the group decided to revive the movement in order to help fight the demos by convincing university students and rights leaders not to participate in the failed August 17 vigils, the dossier posted on Nyasa Times, Malawi Voice, Malawi Democrat  and quoted by the Weekend Nation said.

President of the group, Duncan Nawoza Phiri, claimed they were offered K300, 000 by police to rent a house in Nkolokosa township which was being used as an office.

He also disclosed that they met Inspector General of Police Peter Mukhito – in the presence of southern region police commissioner Rodney Jose – to brief him of their proposal.

It has also been revealed that Mukhito gave them (including Phamiso Mhone and Justice Kangulu) K50, 000 each and made them drunk with Chivas whisky.

Mukhito is reported to have promised them K10 million if the protests were thwarted on August 17.

Also named in the dossier is opposition UDF’s deputy spokesman Ken Msonda and activist Rafiq Hajat.

The youth went on a campaign to convince students at Poly, Catholic University and Chancellor College not to take part in the vigils. They also went to several radio stations, including Capital Radio to speak against the vigils which were postponed on September 21.

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