Synod demands update on Chasowa, 20/7 inquiry

The CCAP Synod of Livingstonia has asked government to update the nation on the investigations into circumstances leading to the death of Polytechnic engineering student Robert Chasowa last September who may have been murdered due to his anti-government activism and also those killed during July 20 anti-Mutharika demonstrations.

The Synod said there is need to bring those responsible to face justice.

President Bingu wa Mutharika announced last October that an enquiry into the death will commence but there has been no progress on the matter so far and government has remained mum with officials tossing the issue among themselves.

The church demanded that government should provide “an update on the progress” of the inquiry into Chasowa death.

Apostle Khoviwa: We will update the nation

Chasowa—was chairperson of a student activist group, Youth for Democracy, which was allegedly printing a weekly anti-Mutharika administration newsletter, the Weekly Political Update. He was found dead on campus on September 24 , 2011 under mysterious circumstances.

He was found dead with a deep cut on his head , lying in a pool of blood and police immediately pronounced his death as suicide. They claimed he jumped from a three-storey building because he was identified as the author and distributor of the anti-government newsletters.

However, a pathologist’s post-mortem showed the death was inconsistent with a free fall suicide.

Investigations into his death and arson attacks on government critics have also been a key demand for donors to unlock their frozen aid.

Presidential spokesperson Hetherwick Ntaba refused to comment on Mutharika’s promise.

The churchalso want progress on the July 20 inquiry.

The Malawi government rewarded Police with hefty allowances after the July20th protests where up to 19 people nationwide were killed in cold blood.

The Presidential Commission of Inquiry on the July 20 has just concluded its investigations after traversing Malawi’s cities and towns. The Commission went to Blantyre, Lilongwe, Mzuzu, Zomba and Karonga.

“We want the government to act on Police brutality so that they serve Malawians with professionalism and address human rights violations,” reads the statement from the Synod signed by Moderator Reverend Clifford Baloyi and General Secretary Reverend Levi Nyondo.

The Synod also said the public disclosure of such findings will ensure that Malawi draw lessons for posterity so that other occurrence should not happen.

“For instance, three years ago Police in Kafukule killed unarmed protesting villagers. And the Malawi Police Service just transferred the Officers who were involved. Such impunity will not help Malawi,” Church and Society director Moses Mkandawire said.

The Synod also warned the Malawi Police Service to desist from creating tension in a country where people are already filled with emotions over the country’s numerous social and economic problems.

“There is so much impunity in the Malawi Police Service and no one seem to be in control of these overzealous and trigger happy Cops,” Mkandawire said.

Apostle Timothy Khoviwa who is in the 20/7 inquiry said the Commission will update the nation “soon”.

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