Folks, the appointment of Rodney Jose as Acting Inspector General of Police has been met with revulsion among right thinking patriotic Malawians. It’s the least anybody who has been around and followed national issues would have expected.
Anybody who has followed Jose’s role in the events surrounding the murder of Robert Chasowa, the Polytechnic student activist and the subsequent ‘cover-up’ by police, would be excused for wondering what type of progressive and democratic government is leading us.
O n e w o u l d a l s o b e tempted to wonder whether this move to name Jose the head of a supposed reformed law enforcement agency, is just aimed at rewarding someone.
Let no one make fool of you, there are aspects of the report by the judge-led Commission of Inquiry into Chasowa’s murder that paints Jose in less flattering terms.
Wh e n h e wa s i n charge of the Sourthern Region policing division, p a r t y o p e r a t i v e s a n d some officers used State resources to conduct a political operation aimed at thwarting demonstrations or publication of material which was highly critical of the then government—both Constitution-enshrined rights.
To send such a man into high office—a man whose role in the mysterious brutal crime is yet to be properly defined, sends shivers down the spine of every patriot—not just Chasowa’s parents.
Just how careless is President Peter Mutharika? Just how gullible or ignorant is the former constitutional lawyer to show justice the ‘middle finger’ in this manner?
Yet , this move i s symptomatic of a bigger national psyche that for years seems not to care a hoot about accountability, especially by those who hold public office on our behalf.
I t ’ s i l l umi n a t i n g , nonetheless, to see that at this juncture of our nation-building, increasingly, our civil society is willing to match the desire of those molesting our nation-building through a resistance against impunity.
But for so long people in public office have been left to their own designs and do as they please. Not anymore.
For far too long, many have gotten away with atrocities without consequences. Parliament must stop this Executive arrogance by not confirming such appointments.
But this appointment, coming just a few months before the elections, reminds us that in DPP, we have a party that doesn’t care about building a fair Malawi as long as the players in its system of patronage are taken care of.
D P P a n d M u t h a r i ka remind us, through this appointment, that the party that left us with 20-plus bullet-ridden bodies on July 20 doesn’t care a bit about the sanctity of human life. And that at any time, those that do its bidding, to scare and threaten Malawians, will always be protected by this administration.
The best response to this form of intimidation is to do exactly what we learnt those days in school: bullies must never be feared; they must be stood up to.
While Mutharika has the prerogative to hire and fire, he does so on trust. He derives the power from the masses, that is why next year we will take a stock and measure the commitment of this President.
Here is a President who was reluctant to fire George Chaponda from Cabinet when Maizegate erupted to the extent that the civil society had to obtain a court order to force his hand. Here is a President still trusting in Goodall Gondwe’s outdated economics when even Goodall himself long declared that the country’s economy is now in God’s hands.
Now, this President, wants us to trust our law and order— in an election year, to someone under whose watch K20 million was offered to Chasowa to stop demonstrations and publication of an anti-DPP newsletter; and possibly, led the police operation that moved fast to declare that Chasowa’s death was suicide—when every piece of evidence then called for caution and otherwise.
But thanks APM for appointing Jose as police chief. We are finally talking about Chasowa again. Thanks to the incredible work Jose-led Southern Region police did, up to now, we don’t know who murdered Chasowa. At least, we know why: Chasowa was up in arms against DPP— enjoying his birthright.