“This happens every day in our system. Files go missing, because someone is trying to suppress justice.”
Crime files of a Malawian-based Rwandese suspect answering charges of attempted murder who fired a gunshot at his employee ‘grew legs’ and took a long walk from the Malawi police custody were being kept and the case file have now disappeared, Nyasa Times can exclusively reveal.
It is now over six years since a Rwandese national working as shopkeeper in Lilongwe suffered a gunshot allegedly at the hands of his bosses; the shot has disturbed his life and that of his family yet the hope for justice has hit a snag as the Malawi Police has not pursued the matter and files have since gone missing.
Nyasa Times impeccable sources within the Malawi Police said the case files have mysteriously vanished from the police custody files for a case that was duly reported to them under Lingadzi Police Station some six years ago.
During investigations the Malawi Police, which acknowledges to have received the report, is not even sure whether the suspect was taken to court or not.
A police report from Lingadzi Police Sub Station, dated August 3, 2013 and signed by Superintendent H.V Mathankie says the victim – Ngabonzija Jarudi, 26, who worked as shop keeper, was accidentally shot by his employer’s in-law – Muligande Regis – a man who was not a licensed gun holder, was using his in-law – Cleophus Balajifinywa’s gun.
According to the report on the day of the incident, Balajifinywa had forgotten the gun in the bag at the shop where he had gone to collect a substantial sum of money, which he asked the in-law to take home.
“He phoned the reporter (the owner of the gun) and advised him to take the bag containing the riffle to their residence. Since he was not at the shop, he instructed Muligande Regis to take the bag [which contained the gun] to their residence when he was knocking off.
“Upon arrival at their residence Muligande took the bag to the boy’s quarters where he began trying to operate the pistol and in the process a bullet was fired that shot the victim on the right jaw” reads the report.
However, while the police report identifies the suspect, surprisingly, the preceding medical report from Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH) said the victim was shot by unknown thugs.
Reads the hospital report: “The bearer of this letter was admitted to Kamuzu Central Hospital from 8th July to 30th July 2013 after he is said to have been shot by unknown thugs. He sustained facial gunshot wounds (entry wounds (entry would less than 1cm in diameter), open fracture to the right mandible and so, difficulties in breathing. Might need removal of bullet pallets after one month.”
Accordingly, a police officer familiar with criminal offences and privy to the case who confided in Nyasa Times, said: “Balajifinywa, who reported the matter to police and is a licensed gun holder would answer two possible charges; permitting unlicensed person use his riffle and negligence while Regis would be held liable for use of a rifle without license and causing grievous harm.
“But, sadly, there is no record that the two where ever taken to police or court in relation to the offence.”
Both Lingadzi Police and National Police Public Relations Office could not tell the progress on the matter.
“There is no file regarding this case. Forget it. Unless one decides to open a new file on the matter, this case is dead and buried. This happens every day in our system where files go missing because someone is trying to suppress justice. Unfortunately the officer who handled it that time retired.” said a police prosecutor.
Painfully, to the victim’s family, the suspect has not just gone scot-free, but has not lived up to an agreement that was made to provide medical support to a person he admitted to have accidentally injured.
Nyasa Times understand that the Rwandese community facilitated an agreement where the shop owner committed to meet all medical expenses to the victim, his employee.
An agreement Nyasa Times has seen and written in Kinyarwanda and translated to us by a Rwandese show that Barajifinywa affirmed that he would pay USD 3000 for the victim to be transferred to any hospital in Rwanda for further medical care and to deposit a caution fee of 1,000,000 Malawian Kwacha into a bank account owned by the
Rwandan diaspora in Malawi, which was to be refunded to Barajiginywa in case it was not used for Druid’s medical bills.
“He has not honored this agreement which he signed and the community had to contribute to have the victim go to Rwanda to seek medical attention. It is sad that Regis has decided to behave like this.
“But we know he has connections that keep saving him from facing the law and that’s unfair,” said the chairperson for the Rwandese Community in Malawi Ndatinya Rais.
The mother of victim is as helpless as his son, who he says, is now mentally disturbed after the gunshots.
“My son is now mentally disturbed after the gunshot. I am forever thankful to the Rwandese community for the medical support that they provided to my son. But with that gunshot he is no longer the same; he is mentally disturbed and cannot do any productive,” she laments.
Barjifinywa is alleged to have strong ties to top officials of the former ruling – the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and our efforts to talk to him proved futile as he could not respond to our calls and texts.
When contacted on Thursday the suspect, Muligande Regis pleaded with Nyasa Times not to publish the story as that would have him arrested and subsequently be deported.
“Please don’t do this to me. We can talk about this. I am in a place of many noise (sic). OK I will ring you back so that we can talk about something as men, alright? Please help me,” pleaded the suspect.
Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) executive secretary Habiba Osman when told about the story, she said: “We will take up the matter and investigate as to what exactly happened in this matter.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :