Malawi police know that agents of the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) had a hand in the death of Robert Chasowa – a fourth engineering student at the university of Malawi-but are failing to arrest them because of who they are and who they know.
Two Blantyre police officers who asked for anonymity told me that so far two theories have emerged as to why he was murdered.
The first they claim is that Chasowa refused to listen to their demands that he stops circulating his literature against the Mutharika administration.
“When he refused, a fight ensued and they beat him up and unintentionally killed him,” said one of the officers
“The other theory is that he was silenced because DPP knew that the opposition UDF was using him to spread anarchy in the three campuses to incite students to revolt against the government,” said the officers.
“But we definitely know the guys who killed him…there are the same guys who torched Rafiq Hajat’s offices in Blantyre and Rev Sembereka’s house in Balaka but the trouble is that we cant arrest them because they are being protected.”
Their claims could not be verified independently because no one in both the family and Chasowa’s close friends are willing to speak because they fear for their lives.
Chasowa and his colleagues authored a newsletter which asked President Bingu wa Mutharika to explain why Paladin Africa Limited banks $100,000 into his Australian bank account every month. Paladin Africa Limited is an Australian firm mining uranium in northern Malawi. Chasowa’s are yet to be verified.
Chasowa also asked the President to explain why the Private jet has been impounded and reminded him that the youths were going to make sure that he is arrested when he gets out of office in 2014.
The officers came up to disclose what they know after a leading pathologists Dr Charles Dzamalala revealed that Chasowa did not commit suicide as claimed by police last week but was murdered
“The cause of Chasowa ‘s death was unnatural…he had severe traumatic intracranial hemorrhage and head injuries with commuted and depressed fractures to skull bones,” Dr Dzamalala’s report reads in part.
Chasowa, 25, a fourth year engineering student, was found dead on campus in the early morning hours of September 24. Many believed then that his activism may have led to his death but Police quickly went to the media with copies of a suicide note purportedly written by Chasowa.
Police claimed that the student had committed suicide by jumping from an eight meter tall building on campus qouting a postmortem report which they said was done by Dr Dzamalala.
But in a twist of events, Dr Dzamalala has come out and differed with police. “Based on the isolated nature of the fresh injuries to the head and the rest of the body spared of these fresh injuries, its is my opinion that these injuries are most likely due to assault to the heard rather than a fall,” Dzamalala said
Many believe that the death of Chasowa may precipitate mass anti-government demonstrations only comparable to the July 20 protests that left 20 people dead.