After a spate of uncertainty that surrounded the reasons behind the arrest of two Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) associates, Geoffrey Botomani and Petro Tembo, the state has finally charged the two in connection with last year’s murder of Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa .
It had to take close to two weeks for the suspects to know their charges.
Reading out the charge, senior resident Magistrate Innocent Nebi told the two that the police has charged them with taking part into the killing of Chasowa.
Committed to High Court
However, Magistrate Nebi said he could not preside over the case, saying it is not within his jurisdiction to handle murder related cases.
“Having read to you the charges, I will not ask you to take plea because it is beyond my jurisdiction to do so hence I’m referring your case to the High Court,” Magistrate Nebi told the accused.
Speaking soon after the committal, defense lawyer Chancy Gondwe told Nyasa Times, he would rush to the High Court to apply for bail.
“Yes, this is what I expected and I’m glad that the case has gone to the High Court because I’m confident the judge would give my clients bail looking at the fragility of the evidence the state has,” he said.
“It is not murder charge per se. They say my clients are being suspected of playing a role into the death of Chasowa so once the case goes into the court, probably any day this week, then we will be able to argue on facts not on what is being discussed in drinking joints,” explained Gondwe .
Interesting and revealing case
Meanwhile, there is debate raging among various legal pundits on basis of arresting Chasowa killer suspects when the commission of inquiry set up by President Mrs. Joyce Banda is still in progress.
“This case will unravel a lot of issues because in the first place I still fail to understand why the police arrested the two when the Inquiry has not submitted it findings; on the other hand once the enquiry comes up with a report I know for sure it will implicate some high profile people, so frankly speaking, it is an interesting case,” commented one legal practitioner who was at the court.
both southern region spokesperson Nicholas Gondwa and his boss Davie Chingwalu have been tight lipped on the matter, claiming no action can be made on this case as an inquiry on the same is ongoing despite Nyasa Times first reporting the arrest of the two.
Nyasa Times also understands that two during police interrogation have implicated former ruling DPP top official Noel Masangwi in the murder of Chasowa.
And an inquest into the death of Chasowa is underway at the Blantyre Magistrate’s Court.
An autopsy by Dr Charles Dzamalala of the College of Medicine in Blantyre showed that Chasowa died from assault to his head inflicted by a blunt instrument or instruments rather than a fall as was earlier claimed by police that he had committed suicide by jumping from a tall building at the campus.
He was found dead at the college on September 30 2011.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :