Masangwi, others charged with ‘murder’: Bail hearing Monday

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor for the South Noel Masangwi and other suspects have been charged with an offence of murder  in connection with the killing of University of Malawi’s Polytechnic student, Robert Chasowa.

Lawyer representing Masangwi and  others, Kalekeni Kaphale, confirmed that his clients were on Thursday formally charged at Blantyre Magistrate Court with murder – which carries a maximum sentence of death.

But Kaphale said the High Court will hear the bail application for the suspects on Monday.

“We will apply for bail at the High Court in Blantyre on Monday,” he said.

Police said so far 10 people have been arrested in connection with the murder.

Masangwi: Formally charged with murder

Geoff  Botomani, 28, and his accomplice Petros  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.

On Wednesday, police arrested five others—DPP Southern Region youth director Lewis Ngalande, police officer Stanford Horea, businessperson and boxing promoter Mike Chitenje, Stone Mwamande and Sam Chulu.

Two more suspects – Frank Julius and Isaac Osman (Ntompwa 1)  -were nabbed on Thursday.

Chasowa, who studied engineering, was found dead at a college campus in Blantyre in September last year. Police said he had jumped to his death from a five-storey building and produced bogus suicide notes as evidence.

But a Justice Andrew Nyirenda-led inquiry ordered by President Joyce Banda, who succeeded Bingu wa  Mutharika after his death in April, rule that Chasowa had in fact been murdered.

President Banda promised that the culprits would “face the full wrath of the law”.

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

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