Do we need another Robert Chasowa Commission of Inquiry?

It is not surprising that the police is not forthcoming in giving out crucial information to the ministry of justice to enable it hire foreign investigators to probe the death of The Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa in 2011. The findings of ChasowaCommission of Inquiry led by Justice Andrew Nyirenda, appointed by former president Joyce Banda, clearly fingered the police as being complicity in the murder of the student.

Chasowa was buried here after he was murdered by regime agents during DPP-led government

There is no way the police can give credible information about Chasowa’s death because they were involved in his murder. They initially lied to the nation that Chasowahad committed suicidewhenthe autopsy and the commission of enquiry established that he was murdered. The police is very unprofessional when it comes to giving out information in which their members are culprits. There so many examples that could be given, but that requires a separate article.

In Malawi, experience has shown that where politicians or those close to politicians use the police to eliminate government critics the police will conceal the truth. Does anyone wonder why the police is not doing anything about the murder of ACB director of corporate affairs IssaNjaunju?

Although Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu has justified the decision for government to engage foreign investigators, the motive should be taken with a pinch of salt. According to media reports, “Tembenu hassaid the evidence that was produced by the commission of inquiry into Chasowa’s death was not sufficient to prosecute anyone.”

However, if one reads the Chasowa Inquiry Report, which is public information and freely available on of all the suspects associated with his death are mentioned in the report.  These include two civilian groups, one from Ndirande and the other one from Bangwe, who were under the direction of DPP and assisted by the police. According to the report, the individuals were paid huge sums of money apparently funded by state house to eliminate a defenceless student.

Some individuals linked to Chasowa’smurder were arrested. The trialhas stalled when DPP bounced back to power in 2014. And the ministry of justice is sitting on the case. This is understandable because some people who had a hand in Chasowa killing are DPP politicians. There is inadequate political will from DPP government to prosecute their own politicians and cadres, and the police. If the trial had been speeded up, some individuals would have been rotting in prison by now. There was enough time to prosecute them. Incidentally, some individuals linked to the murder of Chasowawere also responsible for bombing houses and offices of critics of DPP government at the time it had reached its zenith of ruthlessness and intolerance.

By intending to hire foreign investigators, the government is discrediting and demeaning the good work of the previous commission of inquiry. This is grossly unfair. Justice Nyirenda and his esteemed team did a sterling job to probe into the death of Chasowa. They did a thorough job. Even the people who gave testimonies are credible and high profile individuals who knew the modus operandi of these callous individuals.

The decision to hire foreign investigators is a waste of resources and a ploy to delay justice (if not to defeat it). What make the government think that there is inadequate evidence to prosecute anyone? If one reads the report (everyone is encouraged to read it), it is so incriminating that one does not need any foreign investigators. There is nothing new that they will find other than what the Chasowa Commission already revealed.

Justice has the arrogance of coming back. One can hush up evidence, but one day the truth will be known. One would have thought that the DPP government and the police had learnt a lesson from the death of Dick Matenje, David Chiwanga, TwaibuSangala and Aron Gadamawho were killed in 1983 during the MCP dictatorial government. The truth about their death was concealed for more than a decade. But a commission of inquiry into their death revealed the truth.

The killers of Chasowa may hide under the wings of the DPP government. But justice will soon catch up with them because DPP will not stay in power forever. The Chasowa family is unlikely to get justice unless DPP is booted out of power in 2019.


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