Man sues Malawi gov’t for false imprisonment over Chasowa murder

Stone Mwamadi who was arrested last year as Stone John, alongside eight other people, in connection with murder of Polytechnic student , Robert Chasowa has commenced legal action against government after it has been uncovered that he is not the real ‘Stone John’ on the wanted list.

His lawyer, Edwin Banda confirmed to Nyasa Times about the legal action, saying he is writing the Attorney General (AG) on the same.

Banda said following instructions from his client and evidence Mwamadi has uncovered, is commencing legal battle against government for defamation, malicious prosecution and false imprisonment.

Mwamadi claims to have recorded evidence revealing the true identity of Stone John, who is a Ndirande Township resident and a member of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth group, which is headed by one of the suspect in the murder case, Lewis Ngalande.

Lawyer Edwian Banda: Representing Mwamadi
Lawyer Edwian Banda: Representing Mwamadi

Banda said: “We are writing the Attorney General, as required, giving him 90 days to respond. We are demanding an apology and subsequent compensation for defamation, and false imprisonment dating from his arrest on October 25, 2012 up to when he was released on bail on November 2nd same year”.

Banda explained that on malicious prosecution, his client is demanding government to meet all the cost he has incurred since his arrest and each time he reports for bail at South Region Police offices twice a week.

National Police Public Relations Officer, Rhoda Manjolo, in an interview, said her office will institute investigations on the matter.

“As of now, it is tricky to comment further on the issue. But take note that we will investigate the matter,” said Manjolo.

Mwamadi was arrested alongside DPP regional governor for the South, Noel Masangwi and youth director, Lewis Ngalande, boxing promoter Mike “Bangwe One’ Chitenje, Police constable Stanford Horea, Isaac ‘Mtopwa ‘One’ Osman, Frank Julius, Dolph Geoffrey Botomani and Petros Tembo.

The group were rounded up by law-enforcers before they were released on bail after been allegedly connected to the death of Polytechnic engineering student and activist, Chasowa following a Justice Andrew Nyirenda-led inquiry ordered by President Joyce Banda ruled that the student was murdered.

The inquiry report implicated about 14 people and includes some DPP top officials. Banda promised that the culprits would “face the full wrath of the law”.

New Twist

But in an interview Mwamadi said he has managed to uncover “the real”  Stone John on police wanted list, adding he has video clip of him captured at one of the DPP event in Kabula two weeks ago while in the company of some top party officials including Francis Mphepo.

“I just want the nation to know the truth. I told the officers who came to arrest me last year that I wasn’t the person they were looking for. Their warrant of arrest had a name of Stone John, and yet I am Stone Mwamadi, but I couldn’t do otherwise as they threatened me with a gun”.

Mwamadi said he had no knowledge of Chasowa’s murder and that he has suffered a lot following the arrest, citing a premature birth of his child after his wife was forced into labour due to blood pressure when he was held by police.

“My children are been ridiculed at school and my family has become the subject of insults due to the arrest. I just want to clear my name and be a free man. My business has suffered too because of my connection to Chasowa’s death,” said Mwamadi who produced evidence to justify his claim.

Chasowa was the chairman of a student activist group, Youth for Democracy (YFD), which published anti-Mutharika government leaflets before his death.

Lying under oath

Last year, one of the ruling Peoples Party’s (PP) member Humphrey Mvula came under fire after he was revealed to have falsely testified when he appeared before the commission.

Mvula is alleged to have “deliberately gave fictitious information” to the commission that Malawi Police Service (MPS) Sub-Inspector Harry John Yuda was one of the officers assigned to assist the civilians who assassinated Chasowa.

But information emerged that the police officer,  Mvula mentioned in his testimony died in 2006, five years before Chasowa’s death, a development confirmed by both the deceased family and the Malawi Police Service.

Meanwhile, those who arrested on the matter are still on bail granted by the High Court as the law-enforcers are still investigating Chasowa’s death.

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