The Malawi Police Service (MPS) has admitted that it is to blame for slowing down renewed efforts to have the death of Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa probed by international investigators.
According to Ministry of Justice, MPS is yet to inform the ministry the kind of help it requires to engage the foreign investigators.
In a related development, on Thursday, Parliament passed a motion to allow Scotland Yard to investigate the mysterious death of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) top official Issa Njauju alongside Chasowa’s, and other politically connected deaths.
In an interview yesterday, Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu disclosed that a decision to engage foreign investigators into Chasowa’s murder was made last June.
He said his ministry asked police for specific support they would require to execute the fresh probe, but police are yet to respond.
“They [MPS] will inform us when they are ready. We approached them and advised them about the foreign investigators for the fresh probe. We are waiting to hear from them,” Tembenu said.
National police spokesperson James Kadadzera admitted in an interview Friday that police’s further probe into Chasowa’s murder slowed down after government indicated there will be a fresh probe by international investigators.
Inspector General Lexten Kachama in a separate interview yesterday said he was aware of investigations that were underway, but said the spokesperson needed to get information from director of CID.
Chasowa was killed in 2011 during the administration of Bingu wa Mutharika. A commission of inquiry into his death learnt that prior to his death at the Polytechnic campus in Blantyre, Chasowa had interactedwith some senior police officersand politicians.
The inquiry, which was instituted during Joyce Banda’s term, after she ascended to power following constitutional order following Bingu’s death on April 5 2012, recommended criminal prosecution of some DPP politicians and police officers.
The DPP, now under the leadership of Peter Mutharika, young brother of Bingu, did not trust the findings of the Chasowa inquiry.
Coincidentally, on engaging foreign investigators, Parliament on Thursday passed a motion moved by an opposition legislator, asking the United Kingdom tobring Scotland Yard detectives toinvestigate the mysterious death of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) top official Issa Njauju.
The motion was amended to include investigations into other politically-connected murders and incidents, such as Chasowa’s death.
Another inquiry done under Banda’s reign was about Bingu’s death, which mainly pointed to a fact that some DPP gurus attempted to prevent Banda from assuming office.
Chancellor College political scientist Boniface Dulani said in an interview on Wednesday that the only way to make politicians accountable on inquiries was through the ballot box and street demonstrations.
He said important findings and recommendations have been made such as in the Chasowa inquiry, but nothing much was happening.
Dulani said politicians have figured out that Malawians are “such a pathetic bunch of people’ who can hardly act on a particular situation to push the politicians to go by the wishes of the majority”.
“The only weapon Malawians have is a vote, if they can use it wisely. It happened with Joyce Banda,” he said.
Dulani, however, said it was still worthwhile to have inquiries because truth is brought up.
“It is important to know the truth; you cannot hide the truth forever,” he said, while bemoaning that although demonstrations were another way to make politicians accountable; few Malawians come out on the street when civil society organisations call people to.
He said Malawians have every right to ensure that findings and recommendations of the commissions of enquiry are followed to the letter.