A student activist and critic of the late Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika was murdered and did not kill himself as police claimed, a commission of inquiry has found. The body of Robert Chasowa, 25, was found in a pool of blood at a student campus just over a year ago. Police said he had leaped to his death from a five-storey building and produced suicide notes as evidence. But a postmortem suggested Chasowa had been struck on the back of the head with a blunt instrument.
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A student activist and critic of the late Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika was murdered and did not kill himself as police claimed, a commission of inquiry has found. The body of Robert Chasowa, 25, was found in a pool of blood at a student campus just over a year ago. Police said he had leaped to his death from a five-storey building and produced suicide notes as evidence.
But a postmortem suggested Chasowa had been struck on the back of the head with a blunt instrument. His family and supporters became convinced he was a victim of the increasingly intolerant Mutharika regime. The supreme court of appeal judge Andrew Nyirenda, who chaired a commission of inquiry, agreed on Tuesday that the suicide notes were faked. The commission interviewed 94 witnesses, only four of whom came forward voluntarily, Nyirenda added.
A postmortem examination report enabled the commission, which included a pathologist, "to determine, with a degree of certainty, the cause and circumstances of Robert Chasowa's death". Mutharika died of heart failure on 5 April, after which Joyce Banda was sworn in as president and began reversing many of his policies.
She quickly ordered an inquiry into the death of Chasowa. While no details of the culprits were released, Banda said: "We can assure you that anyone responsible for the death of Robert Chasowa will face the full wrath of the law. We will leave nothing undone to ensure that justice is not only done but also seen to be done.
Moses Kunkuyu, the information minister, told Malawi's Nyasa Times: "The outcome of the Robert Chasowa inquiry, and the confirmation, as many suspected, that Robert Chasowa was brutally murdered by the Bingu wa Mutharika regime, is a fresh reminder of the dark and dangerous days that the Malawi nation lived through just five months ago. Chasowa, an engineering student, was president of a youth rights group at the polytechnic in Blantyre.
His purported suicide note read: "Something terrible is about to happen to me. Am sorry I never explained anything when I came last time… am sorry for the pain am about to cause. Have taken my life. Burn me up and give the ashes to Vivian.
Chasowa's father, Austin, told the Guardian earlier this year: "I've seen the postmortem report. It is not suicide. The truth is he was killed by politicians. This article is more than 7 years old. Robert Chasowa, a critic of the late Malawian president Bingu wa Mutharika, did not kill himself as police claimed. Robert Chasowa, who was found in a pool of blood at a student campus just over a year ago. David Smith , Africa correspondent. Published on Wed 10 Oct The report will be made public by the end of the week.
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Journalists must be allowed to investigate the death of activist Robert Chasowa
Aller au contenu principal. Robert Chasowa , a student and political activist, was found dead on the campus of Malawi University Polytechnic on 24 September in circumstances that were far from clear. Chasowa wrote several campaigning articles, some of which have been posted by political blogger Bright Baghaya Mhango. He published a weekly pro-democracy newsletter Weekly Political Update see below , which was highly critical of President Bingu wa Mutharika.
Student activist was murdered, Malawian inquiry rules
Robert Chasowa March 20, — September 24, was a University of Malawi engineering student and political activist. His mysterious death made international headlines but was ruled a suicide under the Bingu wa Mutharika administration. This pro-democracy group was responsible for publishing a weekly campus publication, the Weekly Political Update. WPU has made several allegations against the Mutharika administration. Prior to his death he co-wrote a play "Semo" with Thlupego Chisiza son of Dunduzu Chisiza Jr that was critical of the governments human rights policies. The week before his death, plain clothes police officers went to the Polytechnic University of Malawi , to question administrators on the existence of a political pressure group, YFD. The students called this move illegal and contrary to the Kampala Declaration which grants academic freedom.