Governance expert and human rights activist Makhumbo Munthali has faulted Malawi Police Inspector General Rodnye Jose for his decision to to reject to meet civil society organisations (CSOs) to discuss with hims the status of investigations into mysterious murders of University of Malawi’s The Polytechnic engineering student Robert Chasowa and Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) director of corporate affairs Issa Njauju.
The CSOs – under the banner of Human Rights Defenders (HRDC) – also wanted to engage the police chief on the leaked ACB investigations report which reveals fraud in the K2.7 bilion police food rations scandal.
Commenting on the rebuff by Jose, the governance expert said it does not reflect well on his office and the mandate his office carries to serve all Malawians.
“While it is true that the said CSOs fought tooth and nail to see him not confirmed as Inspector General, it is unprofessional on his part as a public servant to deny the CSOs access to have dialogue with him on matters that are in the public interest as well as in pursuit of justice.
“ After all, it was not only the CSOs who had reservations with his appointment due to his alleged involvement in Chasowa murder as indicated in the Commission of Inquiry report but also the opposition and some other members of the general public. So, does the IG mean that he and the entire Police will only serve those who supported his appointment? Is he telling the world that the opposition, CSOs and every members of the public who had serious reservations on his appointment will not access his services,” querried Munthali.
He said the IG is only magnifying the already existing perceptions and fears that his appointment is a sign that the justice will never prevail on Chasowa issue and that the Police will continue to serve partisan interest.
“ By rejecting calls to engage his fierce critics, the IG has missed the opportunity not only to mend fences with his critics but also to clarify on some issues head on which may be not be understood by CSOs relating to these issues. Most importantly, the IG has lost the opportunity of proving his critics wrong that his office is there to serve a very Malawian irrespective of any divide,” said Munthali.
He urged Jose to realise that he is not a ruling DPP servant (just because they voted for him enmasse) but rather a public servant HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo has also described Jose’s actions as retrogressive.
Chasowa was murdered in 2011 and a presidential commission of inquiry found that senior ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) officials and the police had a hand in the murder of the fourth year student because of his political activism at the college.
Njauju was murdered two years ago in what is believed to be his decision to brief donors on the companies owned by the top DPP officials who swindled the government of billions of tax money.
Malawi government requested technical support from the British, according to official government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi and Secretary to Justice Janet Banda, to bring closure to a the mystery that has eluded Malawian law enforcement agencies on Njauju.
Banda said the British government only offered support on the Njauju murder, but discussions had initially included possibility of including the murder of Polytechnic fourth-year student Robert Chasowa in September 2011.
Njauju was killed on July 4 2015 and his body was found half-buried behind the presidential villas in Lilongwe while his official vehicle was burnt to ashes at Mtsiriza, a peri-urban township west of Area 47 in the capital city.
Following the murder, several donor countries, including the UK, immediately condemned what was deemed a politically motivated killing and rallied behind embattled staff at the ACB.
Motives of the murder remain unknown just as the identities of those behind the heinous crime.
Government has over the years come under intense public pressure to bring to justice those responsible.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :