Newly appointed Inspector General of Malawi police, Rodney Jose, has refused to comment on the disparaging remarks by some sicil society organisations on his alleged connection to the report on the murder of polytechnic student Robert Chosowa.
President Peter Mutharika appointed Jose on Monday after firing Lexten Kachama.
The activists claim Jose is not fit since he is named in connection with investigations into the late Malawi Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa’s murder.
Youth and Society executive director Charles Kajoloweka and rights activist Billy Mayaya described Mutharika’s appointment of Jose as a dent in the operations of the Malawi Police Service (MPS), saying the appointing authority should pick another candidate.
“I cannot comment on that,” said Jose.
But officials from Justice Ministry said Jose is suitable to head the Police as the most senior cop after the retiring Inspector General Dr Lexten Kachama.
“Mr Jose has served Malawians competently and diligently in the capacity of Deputy Inspector General (Operations) since November 2014,” the officials noted.
The official said Jose has been appointed on merit pending confirmation by Parliament in accordance with the Constitutional provisions.
“The appointment takes cognizance of his illustrious service of over 35 years in the Malawi Police Service having been promoted to various ranks by successive governments since joining the Police under the Malawi Congress Party government,” he noted.
According the Justice Chambers, Jose is not a murder suspect in the Chasowa matter.
“Neither the Director of Public Prosecutions nor any other office has initiated criminal proceedings against him for the alleged murder or any other offence, “the legal officer in Justice Ministry said.
He noted: “The Commission of Inquiry did not make any finding that Mr. Rodney Jose was a murder suspect nor recommend that he should be prosecuted for murder or any other offence. What comes out clearly from the Commission of Inquiry Report is that Mr Jose was Commissioner of Police in the Southern Region and that he interacted with the deceased and his colleagues ( as he would interact with any other person) in fulfilment of the police’s core mandate to safeguard life and property.”
The officer encouraged the CSOs and other interested parties to re-read and revisit the Commission of Inquiry report in full for actual and accurate findings.
Public Appointments Committee of parliament chairman Lingston Beleksnyama said it was unusual for the President to appoint an acting IG.
“We will deal with the matter when the President formally writes us. All the members of parliament will vote,” said Belekanyama.
Chasowa was a final year engineering student at the University of Malawi’s the Polytechnic in Blantyre.
He was a student activist and is alleged to have been used by police then to thwart the July 20, 2011 demonstrations from happening.
Meanwhile, State House has also backed the appointment of Jose.
A statement signed by Presidential Press Secretary Mgeme Kalilani says President Mutharika has appointed Jose to “avoid leadership vacuum in the Police service” because the outgoing IG Kachama will be retiring in June.
Kachama has gone on leave pending retirement to make use of those leave days before his opportunity to do so ceases upon his reaching the retirement age.
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