Malawi Government has assured the United Nations that it will thoroughly investigate and prosecute whoever will be found responsible for the July 20 2011 killings and the alleged murder of Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa as one of its obligation to protect the right to life.
In a report on the implementation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) presented to the UN Human Rights Committee last Saturday, Malawi, among several areas, stressed the sanctity of life, saying even the countryâ€™s laws protect and ensure that no one is arbitrarily deprived of life.
On the July 20 killings, government told the committee that it instituted a commission of inquiry, which is yet to conclude its findings, but was also banking on findings of the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC).
â€œIt is hoped that the findings of the commission of inquiry and the final report of the [Malawi] Human Rights Commission will result in full investigation of the deaths and the prosecution of any violators of the right to life,â€ reads part of the 53-page report
On Chasowa, the report says the matter has been referred to a coroner for an inquest.
â€œThe Human Rights Commission has also been assisting the family of the deceased to seek an inquest hearing at the Magistrate Court in Blantyre. Both these processes have not been concluded at the time of this report,â€ reads the report signed by Secretary for Justice and Solicitor General Anthony Kamanga.
However, in both instances the report has not mentioned the alleged involvement of the police although it says â€œall forms of arbitrary deprivation of life by any person including law enforcement agents are unacceptable in Malawi.â€
The report calls these two incidences as the challenges in governmentâ€™s quest to ensure the full protection of the sanctity of life.
MHRC spokesperson Mike Chipalasa said so far the commission has concluded investigations on the Chasowa death and was waiting for the court to set a new date to start hearing.
â€œThe date was initially set in January but due to the strike in the judiciary that was not possible,â€ he said.