Government is under fire following the appointment of Commissioner Rodney Jose as Deputy Inspector General of Police over reports that he was implicated on the death of Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa.
President Peter Mutharika on Saturday appointed Paul Kanyama as new police chief to replace Loti Dzonzi who has resigned and also announced the appointment of Rodney Jose to replace Kanyama. Jose was police commissioner at Mtakataka.
Jose is one of the police officers implicated in the murder of he fourth-year mechanical engineering student who was found dead on campus on September 24 2011
He is on record to have accepted that he engaged Chasowa and three others to thwart the demonstrations against government by civil society organisations, but that the relationship went sour when the money was not paid out. Chasowa is reported to have threatened to reveal government secrets in retaliation.
Center for Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR) Director Timothy Mtambo said the appointment is an issue of serious concern and worrisome.
“Much as the law says a person is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law, these are issues of ethics and principles.
“What message is government trying to communicate? Will there be a day when the truth on the issue will come out since the person who was implicated has been elevated? This person has got no moral mandate to stand as deputy IG,” said Ntambo in an interview with Nyasa Times.
Malawi Congress Party (MCP) spokesperson Dr Jesse Kabwira said the appointment shows that government is not committed to the security of the country.
“This is sending a wrong signal to the country. How is the family of the late Chasowa feeling with the development? In other words, this means government is not committed to see into it that those involved are brought to book,” she said.
Chasowa was found dead on September 24 at the Polytechnic campus and police earlier attributed his death to suicide. However, a postmortem by College of Medicine histopathologist Charles Dzamalala determined the death resulted from assault to the head with a blunt instrument or instruments.