Former presidential aide arrested over activist’s murder
EIGHT people have been arrested in Malawi over the murder of a student activist last year.
They include a senior aide to the late president Bingu wa Mutharika, a policeman and a boxing promoter.
Engineering student Robert Chasowa, 25, was found lying in a poll of blood on the campus of the University of Malawi in September last year. Police claimed he had jumped from a five storey building and produced two suicide notes. But a pathologist found Mr Chasowa had been bludgeoned to death with a blunt instrument.
When Mr Mutharika died of a heart attack in April this year, his replacement, Joyce Banda, made it one of her first acts in office to set up a public inquiry into Mr Chasowa’s death.
The inquiry reported back this month that Mr Chasowa had been murdered by 15 named suspects and delivered its full findings to Mrs Banda.
“We can assure you that anyone responsible for the death of Robert Chasowa will face the full force of the law,” she said shortly afterwards.
On Wednesday, police launched a series of dawn raids, in which they detained Noel Masangwi, the then governor of the region in which Mr Chasowa was killed, along with Stanford Horea, a police officer, Mike Chitenje, a boxing promoter and several other officials from Mr Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party, including Lewis Ngalande, its director of youth
Cadets of the youth wing were reportedly notorious for beating and torching the houses of DPP opponents during Mr Mutharika’s tenure.
Kelvin Maigwa, a police spokesman, said further arrests were planned and that those already in custody were due before a court shortly to answer murder charges.
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