Malawi inquiry uncovers Chasowa murder plot: JB demands justice

An official investigation into the death of fourth-year Malawi Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa has presented its finding to President Mrs Joyce Banda at State House in Lilongwe and highlighted that the student was “murdered”.

Chasowa’s killing tainted late Bingu wa Mutharika led administration’s human rights record and President  Banda soon after taking over, following death of her predecessor, promised Malawians that deciphering the Chasowa murder puzzle is one of her priorities.

”The ultimate finding that the commission has made is that Robert Chasowa was murdered,” Chairperson of the Commission of Inquiry, Justice of Appeal, Andrew Nyirenda, SC, said.

The chair said he could not preempt the contents of the report because there is disheartening and disturbing information including graphic images.

Justice Andrew Nyirenda SC Chair of the Chasowa Commission presenting the report on the inquiry to President Banda .-Photo by Sam Makaka/Nyasa Times

He , however said: “The real challenge was identifying and bring down witnesses.”

Nyirenda said the inquiry “was like homicide case.”

“Only four people came out voluntariry to testify,” said Nyirenda, adding “The rest of the witnsesses we had to summon them. Finally we were able to interview 94 witnesses together.”

He said the Commission “also visited the scenes of the incident and surrounding areas with some relevant sources hence assisting in the establishment of crucial facts.”

The report will be made public by the end of the week.

Meanwhile, President Banda has said justice will have to be served, saying all those responsible in the murder of the student “should face the law.”

“We will leave nothing undone to ensure that justice is not only done but also seen to be done,” said President Banda

“Let the blood of Robert Chasowa be a lesson to all, that taking human life is not a light issue,” she added.

Two men  – Geoffrey Bottoman and Peter Petros Tembo – suspected of playing a role in the murder are currently remanded at Prison.

Botomani, 28, and his accomplice Tembo,30, were nabbed by police on July 17 on allegations that they took part in the murder of Chasowa and have remained on remand since then.

The Commission comprised Justice Nyirenda SC, Justice of Appeal Isaac Mtambo, SC (Retired), Prof Ndalama Liomba, Sophie Kalimba, Paul Maulidi, Mary Manyusa and Annabel Mtalimanja.

The Chasowa Commissioners- President Banda talking to Prof Liwomba when the commissioners presented their report at the New State House.-Photo by Sam Makaka/Mana

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