New Malawi police chief Jose is suspect in Chasowa murder: Appointment rattles CSOs

The civil society has slammed President Peter Mutharika’s appointment of Rodney Jose as acting Inspector General of Police, saying he has no moral mandate to occupy the senior post at the police service, saying he is a suspect in the murder of Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa.

Jose: Appointed acting Malawi police IG

Jose was Police Commissioner for South during the murder of Chasowa which a judge-led death inquiry reported several irregularities by police, including possible cover-up attempts in the murder.

The inquiry revealed that Jose facilitated a meeting where the police attempted to recruit Chasowa, then a Polytechnic student and a critic of former president Bingu wa Mutharika alongside his college activist students, to foil planned civil society demonstrations but later fell out with the group.

President Mutharika appointed Jose as acting Inspector General (IG) of the Malawi Police Service following the retirement of Lexten Kachama, it was announced on Monday.

Jose was deputy IG responsible for operations before being elevated to head the police.

But CSOs have asked the appointing authority to suspend Jose’s appointment “even before it goes to parliament for approval.”

Centre for Human Rights Rehabilitation (CHRR) executive director Timothy Mtambo said Jose has no moral mandate to occupy the senior post at the police service and called upon Mutharika to reverse the appointment.

Mtambo signatory to a statement issued by Human Rights Defenders Forum warned that failure to suspend the appointment if Jose will result into the issue being added on the agenda of the planned April 21 anti-government nationwide demonstrations.

Other CSOs that have endorsed the statement are Knowledge of the Laws of the Land (Knoll), Citizens Forum for the Defence of Good Governance, Civil Society Network Transparency and Accountability, Child Rights Information and Documentation, Outreach Scout Foundation (OSF) and Phunzirani Foundation.

Leading opposition Malawi Congress Party (MCP) deputy publicist Ezekiel Ching’oma condemned Jose’s appointment.

“The Chasowa family in particular and Malawians in general deserve justice. They deserve the truth. For us in MCP, the appointment vindicates our fears that the DPP-led government has no interest whatsoever in ensuring the Chasowa family finds justice. DPP-government should not make a mistake, Robert Chasowa was a final-year student vital to his family and they do not deserve this,” said Ching’oma.

Deputy spokesman of People’s Party (PP), Ackson Kalaile Banda also condemned Jose appointment, saying the development is a minus in the administration’s respect for human rights.

Mzuzu-based governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali  said the timing of appointing Jose is wrong considering the fact that the investigations into Chasowa’s murder  where the acting police IG  is amongst those implicated.

“Memories are still afresh amongst Malawians of how the Police tried to hide the truth behind Chasowa’s murder by forging a suicide note insinuating that Chasowa had committed suicide but when later it was discovered that he was murdered,” he said.

Munthali said in the absence of conclusions into the quest for justice in Chasowa’s murder it is “a celebration of impunity and an insult” to the family of Chasowa and the public at large for anyone to appoint a person implicated in the saga as Police chief or even Acting Police chief.

“What message is the President relaying to the public in this appointment? Are Malawians particularly government critics safe? What about the timing of this appointment in relation to the CSOs and concerned citizens plans to hold nationwide demonstrations on 27 April 2018 in protest of K4 Billion scam and deteriorating state of governance in the country? What does this appointment say about the Police’s conclusion to investigations to Chasowa’s murder and July 20, 2011 demonstrations killings? And most importantly, what does this appointment say about the role of DPP government in relation to Chasowa murder and investigations on the same? No human rights defender and any patriotic Malawian can afford to just sit quietly and watch the celebration of impunity in this careless and insensitive appointment,” Munthali said.

According to findings of the Commission of Inquiry which was instituted by the late Mutharika and was headed by Supreme Court Judge Andrew Nyirenda, police officers who first responded to the Chasowa murder scene clearly suspected the deceased to be a murder victim. However, police changed positions later and referred to the death as suicide.

Several people, including the ruling DPP Member of Parliament Noel Masangwi, DPP’s youth militia Lewis Ngalande, were arrested in connection to the murder.

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kwangu J
Guest
kwangu J

anti-police and anti-government vessels r what u r, what difference does it make to the nation, is there anything good the president, government and of coz the police has ever done to earn ur appreciation?, let the acting police chief do the best he dreams for my one and only Malawi in case you have another one standin’ by, criminality is takin’ place in Chitipa, Mzuzu, Nsanje, Blantyre, Mchinji, Lilongwe, Nkhotakota and Zomba such that ur not only worstin ur tym but he’s and the entire police too which is bad and dangerous, the frustrations u r creating into the… Read more »

mchisala
Guest
mchisala

All CSO leaders. all presidential aspirants and all govt critics are not safe with Jose!!!! And his appointment just before a major nationwide demo should not be taken lightly!!!!

James
Guest
James

APM, let’s not take people for granted. Ndinali momo ine koma panopo ndawona kuti we have lost direction.

MAME
Guest
MAME

Let mcp be quite..which justice are they talking about when thier own victims of brutal rule are seeking justice too … MCP dont talk on this you have skeletons too in your locker !

Ngulenjemalawi
Guest
Ngulenjemalawi

A clear sign that DPP has a hand in Chasowa death no doubt about that. Yet Munthalika Broadcasting cooperation
(MBC) is busy portraying MCP as a killer party yet Ntaba, Dausi and many more masterminders in the old MCP are in DPP

Omex70
Guest
Omex70

This appointment is reward for the role Jose played in Chasowa saga.. Boma ili ndi mavuto. Koma Mulungu atipulumutsa posachedwapa….

LEGO
Guest

That’s total madness from this Government.In fact,it shows that this guy is the master minder of killings in the police rank.It also shows the DPP are preparing to wage war on the opposition parties through this IG come 2019.Its high time for us Malawians to think twice about this man called Peter Muthalika

Igwe
Guest
Igwe

DPP Murderers

Agenda Setting Theory
Guest
Agenda Setting Theory

Why is it taking this long to conclude this case and bring suspects to book?

Ninja
Guest
Ninja

Because the inquiry was total bulshit, twisted AF for political whitch hunting!! As long as it is for a fact that he was murdered, peoples party used it as their dagger to silence and kill the so called “prime suspects”political careers and paint a bad picture on DPP as a whole! It doesn’t need a god to figure this all out, thats why even after october 2012 mpaka lelo the case is still stalled!! Inu mukuyesa anakakhala kuti ali ndì legit info and evidence anakachedwa nawo makosanawo?…. kamfuseni kasambara, zinanntengela miyezi ingati kuti apezeke ndende? You think iyeyo si dolo?… Read more »

nancy
Guest

Malawians cannot afford to have a criminal suspect – murder for that matter- to lead Malawi police service as if he is the only qualified person – or may be DPP just wants to take our attention away from the 4billion saga to this rubbish—- Dpp doesn’t deserve another term under this old man….wakalamba…….let him go!

kwangu J
Guest
kwangu J

it’s so important that when u’ve got a political anger or difference with anyone, a political podium should be a decider for ur wisdom and wishes, i have the belief that there is no evidence that could suggest or decide conviction to the said ”criminal suspect”, but if many wishes then let’s wait a little tym to take’im to court where he’ll be acquited for lack of evidence, we will as a nation compensate’im for the damages after failing to tender in satisfying evidence, this story seems so big when we’re talkin’ but it’s so small when taken into the… Read more »

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