Chasowa murder case: Police investigations holding the case
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Bruno Kalemba has said the police are probing 15 suspects named in the murder of Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa and prosecution of the suspects would start once the investigations are through.
Kalemba was yesterday responding to a question as to when prosecution of the suspects will start following recommendations from the Chasowa Commission of Inquiry report to speed up the investigations and prosecute the suspects taking into account that over a year has lapsed since his death.
"I have not yet received the docket. After the police have finished investigations, they will hand over the docket of the names (of suspects) to me. I will look at each critically and decide whether each one has a case to answer or not," Kalemba said.
He indicated the police investigations can decide whether to charge the 15 suspects with murder, exclude some of them or include others who are not on the list.
The Chasowa Commission of Inquiry named Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Regional Governor for the south Noel Masangwi, the party's director for the youth Lewis Ngalande and boxing promoter Mike Chitenje among the 15 suspects in the murder.
Others are police officer Stanford Horea and sub/inspector Yuda, a Mr. Amos, Dofu, Geofrey Botoman, Sam Chulu, Stoni John, Frank Julius, Harry Makina, Chikondi Mwamvera, Isaac Osman, Elias Phiri and Petros Phiri.
The Commission of Inquiry suggests that Chasowa had links with the ruling elite as he had suggested that he would discuss with civil society groups in August to avert planned demonstrations against bad economic and political governance against the Bingu wa Mutharika administration.
However, after the protests were averted, Chasowa demanded K10 million as his pay cheque, but after authorities refused to pay him, according to the report. He then turned against them and published articles in newsletters critical of the former head of state, a situation which irked the former ruling party, the Democratic Progressive Party which planned and executed his extra-judicial killing.
Deputy Police spokesperson at the national headquarters Kelvin Maigwa said the police were working round the clock to conclude the investigations.
"Investigations have no time frame but we are working with speed so that we conclude as soon as possible as per the recommendations of the report. We are working hand in hand with the office of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions," he said.
He said police instituted investigations immediately after the report was released.
"We know that people are anxious to know the findings of our investigations. We are doing all we can to conclude the investigations as soon as possible," Maigwa said.
He indicated that currently police investigators were in the field to gather more information on the matter.
Maigwa was non commital to explain when the investigations would be concluded.
One of the suspects, Masangwi, said he was surprised that his name is on the list of the suspects, describing it as political, saying he has never taken part in the killing of Chasowa.
He claimed since his name was published in the newspaper as a suspect in the murder, he has been receiving death threats and feared for his life too.
After receiving the report a week ago, President Joyce Banda directed the state to work with speed to bring all culprits to book to face the law.
Donors two years ago froze their aid to Malawi because of among other crucial issues, bad economic and political governance and demanded the commission of inquiry to probe the death of Chasowa to which the former head of state Bingu wa Mutharika never bowed to.