Human rights activists have faulted the Malawi Police Service (MPS) letter written to the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs on the death of the Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa in 2011, saying it raises eyebrows.
In its conclusion, MPS maintained its stand that the student committed suicide.
The letter, addressed to Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu, says an investigation the police carried out shows that Chasowa’s death was suicide.
However, the latest letter contradicts an earlier inquiry ordered by former president Joyce Banda, as well as an autopsy carried out by pathologist Charles Dzamalala that proved Chasowa was assaulted, contrary to what the police had earlier reported.
The post-mortem showed that Chasowa died from assault to his head inflicted by a blunt instrument, or instruments rather than a fall.
Police had later found a note, allegedly to have been written by Chasowa which the family described as being suspicious as it had serious anomalies, including the way he addressed his father’s name.
But Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) chairperson Robert Mkwezalamba said in an interview yesterday the manner in which MPS has handled their investigations raises suspicions.
He said it is strange that police have welcomed fresh investigations into the matter when they have already come to a conclusion.
Mkwezalamba wondered why the police would institute an investigation into the matter when a handwriting expert they hired from South Africa, as alleged by the police, made them arrive at the conclusion.
Director for the Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI), Rafiq Hajat, said there is no surprise in the outcome of the investigations with the very esteemed people that were implicated in the case.
He said: “Frankly speaking, I would not blame the people of Malawi for not getting justice because mainly such inquiries act as a means of delaying justice and perpetuate a culture of impunity.”
The letter addressed to the ministry that The Nation has seen says that the position that MPS has taken has been arrived at, following an independent handwriting expert from South Africa who concluded that the suicide note and poem compared with Chasowa’s registration forms and marked examination scripts were by the same writer.
Yesterday, Chasowa’s family could not comment on the issue as the family awaits from authorities to furnish them with the latest report.