Some civil society organisations (CSOs) have expressed dismay over delays by the Malawi Police Service (MPS) to conclude investigations into the deaths of Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa and Anti-Corruption Bureau deputy director Issa Njauju.
According to a letter we have seen dated July 17 2018, the CSOs, under the banner of Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), have since written Inspector General of Police Rodney Jose seeking audience over the deaths.
HRDC vice-chairperson Gift Trapence said they also want to discuss matters relating to the leaked Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) report, which reveals fraud into the K2.7 billion MPS food rations scam.
“Specifically, we want to point out the lack of information regarding the deaths of Mr Robert Chasowa, a fourth-year Polytechnic student, and Mr Issa Njauju, director at the Anti-Corruption Bureau. We feel that the continued delays are impeding the course of justice.
“We are aware that there have been ongoing investigations in both cases, but we are extremely perturbed with the delay in bringing the two cases to their conclusion,” reads the letter in part.
“The longer it takes, the higher the chances that evidence will be hard to generate. In this vein, we wouldn’t want to speculate that the delays are rather deliberate,” it adds.
MPS spokesperson James Kadadzera said he was yet to see the letter, and needed to consult before commenting on the matter.
Ironically, HRDC earlier demanded that President Peter Mutharika should reverse his decision to appoint Jose as IG.
According to their 10-point petition of April 27 2018 to government, the CSOs claimed Jose was implicated in the murder of Robert Chasowa in 2011.
After Parliament approved Jose as IG in June, he held a news conference in Lilongwe where he said he is hurt by accusations that he murdered Chasowa.
Jose said: “My heart bleeds when people accuse me of killing Robert Chasowa. My conscience is clean and my hands are also clean. I did not take part in the killing of this young man.
“Yes, I worked with Chasowa, but on a professional level and wherever his spirit is, it is my witness. My other witness is God and I know it is by God’s grace that I am an IG.”
Chasowa was on September 24 2011 found dead at The Polytechnic campus in Blantyre with a deep cut in his head.
Police declared his death as suicide, claiming he had jumped to his death from a high rise building, but this claim was contradicted by a postmortem report that said he had been murdered.