Malawi Law Society wants police officers ‘shamed’ in Chasowa report to resign: Liars to be prosecuted

The Malawi Law Society (MLS) has implored on  police officers involved in the events leading to and after tthe murder of University of Malawi’s Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa to resign and pave way for the  ongoing criminal investigation.

Chasowa, an engineering student who was president of a youth rights group at the Polytechnic in Blantyre, which was critical of the late Bingu wa Mutharika regime, was during the reign of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) found dead in a pool of blood at the campus last September.

Police had initially said he had committed suicide and produced suicide notes.

The Justice Andrew Nyirenda Commission report faulted Police for not making measures “to preserve the scene and did not invite a medical examiner to examine the body before it was removed from the scene. ”

Makhwawa: Action now!

The Commission further finds that the Police did not act diligently enough.

“They did not immediately summon any of the guards who were on duty on this night for questioning. Had the Police done so, the critical guards who are now missing would have been questioned. In that way useful information about the events of the night of 23rd – 24th September, 2011 would not have been lost,” reads the report.

The MLS, in a statement issued on Monday and made available to Nyasa Times, reads: While not every police officer who was involved in the events leading up to and after the death of Mr. Chasowa may be criminally liable, the Society believes that the conduct of most of these officers was most reprehensible and fell short of the standards demanded by the Constitution and other written laws.”

The lawyers’ body, in the statement signed by its president John-Gift Mwakhwawa, added: “Consequently, and without prejudice to the errant officers’ right to be heard, the Society urgently requests the Inspector General of Police, the Police Service Commission and the Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security to take appropriate disciplinary measures against the said officers.”

Several individuals including DPP Regional Governor for  the South, Noel Masangwi and the party’s director of youths Lewis Ngalande are some of the prime suspects in the murder of Chasowa.

During the inquiry, it was revealed that Chasowa’s murder was state sponsored by the DPP regime and assailants were paid directly from State House and the DPP machinery.

Prosecute liars

The lawyer’s body also  said witnesses, who testified  before the Chasowa Inquiry and told lies on certain aspects of their testimony , must be prosecuted.

“It should be put on record that knowingly giving false testimony…is a criminal offence under the Penal Code known as Perjury and Subornationof Perjury, respectively.

“Such offences are punishable with up to seven years imprisonment in the event of conviction. The society takes the view that those who further attempted to muddle the truth during the Chasowa Inquiry by knowingly telling the commission lies should not be allowed to getaway with it.”

Inspector General of Police (IG) Lot Dzonzi said police are interviewing several people, including those who testified before the commission and that they will take appropriate action to arrest and prosecute individuals connected to the murder of Chasowa, based on police findings.

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