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Tit for tat: After inquiry, Pres Banda says killers of Malawi student activist will face ‘full force of law’

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BLANTYRE--Malawian President Joyce Banda on Tuesday  said culprits in  the mysterious murder of student activist Robert Chasowa, who was a critic of the late president Bingu wa Mutharika, will “face the full force of law” after a state-funded inquiry presented its report to her.

“Anyone responsible will face the full force of law.We will leave nothing undone to ensure that justice is not only done but also seen to be done,” Banda told commissioners of the inquiry at State House in Lilongwe, in remarks broadcast on state radio.

“Let the blood of Robert Chasowa be a lesson to all, that taking human life is not a light issue,” she added, without giving details of the report nor naming the culprits.

Chasowa, an engineering student who was president of a youth rights group at the Polytechnic in Blantyre, which was critical of the Mutharika regime, was found dead in a pool of blood at the campus last September.

Police had initially said he had committed suicide and produced what appeared to many to fake suicide notes.

Mutharika critics had accused the police of staging the hit against Chasowa and former police chief Peter Mukhito, a close ally of Mutharika and who was immediately sacked by Banda after she was sworn in as President, was implicated in the case.

Banda, who was sworn in as President two days after Mutharika died of heart failure on April 5, launched the inquiry saying: "As a mother, I feel for my fellow mother who doesn't know what killed her son. I understand how painful it is, and I will make sure we find out who killed our son Chasowa." 

She said she didn’t want “people to go about murdering people fearlessly."

Supreme court of Appeal judge Andrew Nyirenda,who chaired the commission, told the President: “The ultimate findings of the commission is that Robert Chasowa was murdered.”

He said the findings were based on entire testimony of witnesses, which he said “in some instances were lucid and unmistaken.”

Nyirenda said a post-mortem 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.” 

Some 94 witnesses were interviewed after they were summoned, but only four witnesses volunteered the information.
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Tit for tat: After inquiry, Pres Banda says killers of Malawi student activist will face ‘full force of law’
Tit for tat: After inquiry, Pres Banda says killers of Malawi student activist will face ‘full force of law’

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