Malawi Police arrest Chasowa murder suspects

Malawi Police Service during dawn of Wednesaday rounded up suspects  named in the mysterious murder of Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa and arrested most of them at their homes.

National Police deputy spokesperson Kelvin Maigwa confirmed the operation.

He said most of the names fingered in the  Justice Andrew Nyirenda’s inquiry report  inquiry set up by the Joyce Banda administration to establish the cause of the death of the student have been nabbed.

They include Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) director of Youth Lewis Ngalande, police officer Stanford Horea, boxing promoter Mike Chitenje, Dofu Geoffrey Botoman, Sam Chulu, Stoni John, Frank Julius, Harry Makina, Chikondi Mwamvera, Isaac Osman, Elias Phiri and Petros Phiri.

Chitenje: Held

But Noel Masangwi, the DPP regional chair for the south, who is one of the people named in the mysterious murder of the student was not found at home. He is reportedly at large after being tipped of the impending arrest.

Malawi President Joyce Banda, who received a report on the inquiry recently, promised that all those responsible for the murder will face the “full force of the law”.

Chasowa’s body was found on the morning of September 24, 2011 lying near the dispensary/accounts department of the Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi. Soon afterwards, the Malawi Police issued a statement arguing that Chasowa committed suicide by jumping from a four-storey building.

But a state-funded commission of inquiry on the death that shocked the nation last year presented found that he was murdered, contrary to what police said that he committed suicide.

Supreme court of Appeal judge  Andrew Nyirenda, who chaired the commission, said:”The ultimate findings of the commission is that Robert Chasowa was murdered.”

Nyirenda said their findings were based on testimonies from witnesses, post-mortem investigations, visits to the scene of the incidence and analysis of other pieces of evidence, including pictures.

The Nyirenda Commission also had retired Justice Isaac Mtambo, ex-police deputy inspector general Mary Mangwiza Manyusa, Sophie Kalimba, Professor George Liomba, lawyer-cum-politician Paul Maulidi and Administrator General Annabel Mtalimanja.

Maigwa said the law enforcers had  set up a five member team to investigate the murder of Chasowa and recommendations of the commission of inquiry which found out that student activist was murdered, contradicting earlier reports that he committed suicide.

The Deputy National Police Spokesperson said the arrests follows the criminal investigation carried by Police.

He said the Police investigating team was working in collaboration with the Director of Public Prosecutions and started working on Sunday, October 14, 2012.

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