British forensic investigators are due to launch a hunt for killers of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) corporate affairs director Issa Njauju, Capital Hill and the British High Commission in Lilongwe have confirmed.
The deal is the latest attempt to bring closure to a two-year mystery that has eluded Malawian law enforcement agencies.
The development follows an agreement between London and Lilongwe after government requested technical support from the British, according to official government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi and Secretary to Justice Janet Banda.
British High Commissioner to Malawi Holly Tett also confirmed that London will provide Malawi with the expertise on the Njauju murder investigations.
Said Tett in a written response: “The UK [United Kingdom] has formally responded to the Government of Malawi’s request for technical assistance to support the investigation into the murder of Issa Njauju. The UK has expressed its willingness to respond positively to the request. We are currently in the process of trying to identify UK officers with the skills and availability to assist.”
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Sam Tembenu officially wrote the British on the matter, but was unavailable for comment yesterday.
However, Banda, who also doubles as Solicitor General, confirmed the British have responded to the Lilongwe request.
She said the British government only offered support on the Njauju murder, but discussions had initially included possibility of including the murder of Polytechnic fourth-year student Robert Chasowa in September 2011.
“That was done months ago. We requested support for both Chasowa and Njauju investigations, but the British government has indicated they will support us on the Njauju case,” said Banda.
On his part, Dausi, who doubles as Minister of Information and Communications Technology, said the discussions started in March this year and that the British had responded to the request.
Dausi did not specify the contents of the British response. He also could not state how much the investigations will cost.
“I am still consulting on the details, but it wouldn’t be a surprise to anyone familiar with security matters that we are requesting support. Security organs of various countries work together all the time. Britain’s Scotland Yard is renowned for its investigative work and has helped a lot of countries.
“The British even collaborate with their American and Israel counterparts. It’s normal in security circles to work with foreign experts. That doesn’t mean we are lacking confidence in the country’s security apparatus,” said Dausi.
Njauju was killed on July 4 2015 and his body was found half-buried behind the presidential villas in Lilongwe while his official vehicle was burnt to ashes at Mtsiriza, a peri-urban township west of Area 47 in the capital city.
Following the murder, several donor countries, including the UK, immediately condemned what was deemed a politically motivated killing and rallied behind embattled staff at the ACB.
Motives of the murder remain unknown just as the identities of those behind the heinous crime.
Government has over the years come under intense public pressure to bring to justice those responsible.