Malawi Police submits final report on Chasowa murder to Judiciary

The Malawi Police Service (MPS) says it has finally completed investigations surrounding the mysterious death of University of Malawi’s The Polytechnic engineering student Robert Chasowa who was found dead on campus six years ago.

Police spokesman James Kadadzera: Report presented to Judiciary

Nation Police spokesperson James Kadadzera confirmed on Tuesday about the development.

Kadadzera was defensive on why they had taken half a dozen years to investigate the case, arguing such cases are complex.

“It takes a lot to investigate an issue like this one. You need time to question several people and to follow or procedures when doing the same,” said Kadadzera.

An activist, Chasowa was chair for the activist group Youth for Democracy (YfD) which printed a weekly pro-democracy and anti-Bingu wa Mutharika administration newsletter called the Weekly Political Update and his artciles were also posted on Nyasa Times.

Chasowa was killed in 2011 during the administration of Bingu wa Mutharika. A commission of inquiry into his death learnt that prior to his death at the Polytechnic campus in Blantyre, Chasowa had interactedwith some senior police officersa nd politicians.

The inquiry, which was instituted during Joyce Banda’s term, after she ascended to power following constitutional order following Bingu’s death on April 5 2012, recommended criminal prosecution of some DPP politicians and police officers.

The DPP, now under the leadership of Peter Mutharika, young brother of Bingu, did not trust the findings of the Chasowa inquiry.

Parliament last month passed a motion moved by an opposition legislator Everson Makowa Mwale (MCP) ,asking the United Kingdom to bring Scotland Yard Detectives to investigate Chasowa’s death.

Nkhata Bay South South East member of Parliament (MP) Noah Chipeni  said the police in Malawi are failing to do their job well because of political interference.

“Mr Speaker, Sir, our investigating officers cannot do their fine job which they are known to be doing if constantly put on a short political leash. Mr Speaker, Sir, it is not to undermine our investigative institutions when we call upon government to ask for outside help but it is basically to deal with the delays that we have witnessed in these cases.  And again, it is not to accuse our men in uniform of any maladroitness Mr Speaker, Sir, but it is because of delays that we have witnessed,” said Chimpeni.

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2 thoughts on “Malawi Police submits final report on Chasowa murder to Judiciary”

  1. Kent Y.G. Mphepo says:

    Countrymen, while it is commendable that the police have reached this far with this matter, I strongly think that the country can do better in ensuring that investigations on such serious matters are concluded in the most timely manner. Six years is too long a time for a family and citizens in general to obtain justice on the untimely death of a young promising youth like the late Mr. Chasowa. As a nation, I feel that we can do better. We also have several unconcluded matters that I think are taking too long to be concluded. Isa Njauju, a son of Mr. Chimutu (in Chigumula, Blantyre), James Makhumula, Kalonga Stambuli, etc some of which have even taken much longer than the Chasowa case. I, personally, have also recently lost a close relative who was shot by the police while in their cell and I still grieving and angry and I have not hidden my feelings from the highest level of police in Southern Region. My family now has to take care of three orphans due to this death!

    We also have cashgate cases that have resulted in a serious loss of citizens in hospitals, prisons, communities, etc. My question is: why should cases like these take forever to be resolved? What is the purpose of allocating public funds to investigative organs of government and yet the country is getting very little and very late from them? I thought that Malawians decided to adopt multiparty politics in 1993 with the intention of creating a more open and humane society than what we used to have during the initial post-colonial decades? I thought that we now have the police “service” and not the police “force” because the country wanted to have a police and indeed all other security bodies that are “reformed” and provide the highest quality of services to the citizens of this country? Are we not in a “true” democratic dispensation for the simple reason that citizens were dissatisfied with the “shortchange” that they “endured” during the Kamuzu era?

    But, judging from the kids glove with which this country is handling serious issues that have a direct bearing on people’s lives, I have a feeling that noone in this country is any more safe than they were during the one-party state and the earlier we dealt with this gap is our democratic systems the better. Human life, in my view, is sacred. One citizen dead is too high a loss for a country to remain quiet in the face of those who are being paid for safeguarding every citizen’s life. One citizen dead in an untimely and a questionable manner like the Chasowa episode is too high for the rest of us to remain quiet and I ask: shall we all peacefully go to bed quietly at the time when justice is being denied in broad daylight to those who have brutally lost their beloved ones? shall we all peacefully go to bed quietly at the time when billions of kwachas are being openly siphoned from Account No. 1 and tacked away in a few people’s foreign bank accounts, pillow cases, suitcases, car boots, house ceilings, etc while the majority of our people are languishing in hospitals on one meal a day and going to schools with trained teachers, slates (like some of us had the privilege of using in the early grades of our education!) notebooks, textbooks, etc? Shall we peacefully go to bed when our own taxes are being used to perpetuate the grip of power by those who are bent on nothing but abuse the power that we gave to them? shall we peacefully go to bed at the time when thousands of our people are dying needlessly in hospitals due to failure of ventilators, taken strong drugs before eating anything, power blackout, shortage of nurses and medical staff etc? Shall we…..???. This, in my view, is unacceptable and must be brought to its conclusive end the soonest. Malawi belongs to us all and noone must take our lives for granted. Death of any of us must be taken seriously by those in power and those who are paid to safeguard our lives.

    Here is my proposed solution: We must have a “SERVICE DELIVERY” law that MUST clearly stipulate the length of time it should take for critical services to be offered to citizens. It must, for example, provide the length of time the police or any other investigative arm of government, must take to investigate cases of various kinds failing which someone in the system must personally be held accountable. I hear that the Chinese have a law that stipulates how long, for example, construction of a school block or bridge, or stadium must take failing which someone in the system is personally held responsible. It is lack of this kind of laws or enforcement thereof that perhaps Malawi suffers from and it probably explains why construction projects e.g. roads, police cases, court cases, etc run forever without being completed and yet so much public funds have been spent on them. This is the kind of wastage that we all need to deal with the soonest if the country will begin to move forward. Otherwise, we people are not safe.

    So, congratulations Malawi police for this report. But, I am personally not amused by the time it has taken to reach this far. It is my hope the report will lead to prosecution and conviction of those who needlessly took the life of a this brilliant young Malawian who would have enormously contributed to the development of this country. It is a step in the right direction. My hope is that the other cases, including one in my own family, will also be concluded the soonest.

    I rest my case,

    Kent Y.G. Mphepo, Blantyre

  2. Chaputidwe says:

    Apolice ntcito yawo akumagwira mwa mantha kt itha kuwathela ngt angamange mmodzi wa boma lolamula. Komwe kuli kulemphela ntcito yawo, iwo sakanayenela kumankhala ndi mbali pogwira ntcito yawo. Final investigation sindikuiona2 apa.. Kodi mwatitenga ngt ndife zisilu zanu ???? Mwaiwala kt Chasowa adabezeka alibe ngankhale bala pa nthupi pake,, umboni uypose pamenepoooooo

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