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Robert Chasowa: How he died

The Beginning 1. 30th march 2011, Bingu Mutharika calls upon the DPP Youth Cadets to protect him from his critics in the manner of MCPs Youth Leaguers and Young Pioneers and also UDFs Young Democrats. 2. 17th July 2011, Robert Chasowa, Bright Mhango and Victor Mandiwa among other Polytechnic students attend a meeting with Rafiq Hajat to strategize on the handling of fourth coming July 20 demonstrations. 3. 19th July 2011, Robert is marked out by the DPP and the Police as having organized a group of Polytechnic students who planned to stone panga wielding DPP cadets who went berserk down town Blantyre. 4. 20th July 2011, the group which met Hajat alongside other Polytechnic students, lead the demonstrators at the clock tower in Blantyre (because of a court injunction against the demonstrations the demonstrators simply gathered around the clock tower. The demonstrations only started upon the arrival of the Polytechnic students, who were chanting, Eni demo afika).Once again Robert is singled out by the Police as a ring leader. Enter New Vision Youth Organisation 5. Robert Chasowa had links with a grouping called New Vision Youth Organisation (NVYO) hereinafter referred to as The Group. Grouping was formed between 2001 and 2002 by Duncan Phiri, Phaniso Mhone and Justice Kangulu (a childhood friend to Chasowa who recruited Chasowa into the fold of the grouping) The group was into various socioeconomic activities, and it survived on rewards from reporting Tax evasion to MRA. The grouping planned to stop demonstrations planned for August 17 2011 in favor of dialogue with the national president. 6. Towards this end, the grouping through Duncan (0992222277) at 6:30pm, Saturday 13 August 2011 phoned the Malawi Police Inspector General Peter Mukhitho (0888203776) to link them up with the president so that the group could lay down its plan to him in person. 7. Mukhitho liked the idea and on the same evening instructed Southern Region Police Commissioner, Jos to make contact with the group to get a more vivid picture of what the group was really about. 8. 9:30PM same day, Jos (0888866369) called Duncan to arrange for a meeting on the following morning (Sunday 14 August).

9. Jos met Duncan at Green Corner (along Chikwawa Road) and drove to Mirale in Toyota Corolla as Duncan explained the groups agenda. Jos talked to Mukhitho who ordered that Jos drive the group to Lilongwe at once. 10. Jos and Duncan drove to the Polytechnic where they met Robert to inform him of the trip to Lilongwe. The rest of the group members were also told. Around 1pm the next day Robert, Duncan, Phaniso (minus Justice who was on the day attending a family tombstone unveiling ceremony) were driven to Lilongwe by Jos, at Chingeni the group even stopped to talk to Justice who was driving back to Blantyre from the family ceremony, they briefed him of the trip. 11. Between 6 and 7pm the group arrived in Lilongwe and it was Robert who explained the groups aims to the IG, and he was impressed. The group was offered Chivas Regal, a whisky and Robert being of sober orientation had some soft but expensive refreshments. The group also showed Mukhito an anti-government pamphlet bearing phone numbers of Black Moses. Mukhito reprimands Jose for having not taken any action on the owner of the phone number borne on the pamphlet. 12. The IG walked out for a good five to ten minutes and talked to the president and returned with K50,000 bundles which he distributed to each member and even gave another K50,000 for Justice. Mukhitho told the group that they couldnt meet the president and instead just asked what the group needed to carry out its plan. Phaniso suggested K300, 000 but the IG countered with K500, 000 and made a promise that if the group was successful in thwarting the 17 August demos, ten million kwacha awaited the group. The group made demands of a car, an office space, two Ipads, two laptops, three desktops, a color printer, two digicams, two still cameras, a laminating machine, three sensitive recorders and a perforating machine. The IG promised to provide all the above and offered the group another round of Chivas for the group to drink on their way back to Blantyre. 13. Jos drove the group to Kameza in Blantyre where they met Justice {at this point Jos left}. Justice happens to be Black Moses cousin. The group spent the night at Black Moses house. 14. On 15th August around 11 AM, Commissioner Jos called the group to come pick up some of their the promised essentials: Money amounting to K300,000 and a car (Suzuki Jimmy) rented for three months from Country Wide Car Hire registration Number MN 2452. The things were picked up by Justice and the group paid K140, 000 upfront in rentals for a house in Nkolokosa belonging to a Mr Mathanga (thirty-five thousand kwacha per month). 15. Since Justice Kangulu specializes in computers the group is also given a list of eight names (comprising of Sembereka, Hajat and Ken Lipenga among others) to monitor their incoming and out going phone calls and decipher who their contacts in
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government were as possible sources of leaks of information on high profile corruption as publicized through the pamphlets such as the one shown to him by the group. 16. What the grouping did in keeping its end of the bargain a. Robert won over ten influential students from Polytechnic with a promise of a K2 000 000 cut from the ten million kwacha promised by Mukhitho. b. The Group also won over Ken Msonda and Black Moses with a promise of K2 500 000. Msonda was instantly given K6000.00 as transport money as he went over to radio stations spreading anti-demonstration messages. Msonda also won over Undule Mwakasungula over the same. Not surprisingly prominent members of CSOs started holding joint press conferences with high ranking police officials in Lilongwe. Around the same time Hajat was approached by Black Moses and was reluctant but amicable to the groups idea against demonstrations in favor of contact and dialogue. Black Moses is also reported to have also demanded some kind of package in return for protection for Hajat. c. Chancellor college students proved a problem to buy over as they were not learning and thus showed no mercy to the government and were in total support of the demonstrations. However Duncan spoke of Robert and Black Moses as having successfully bought over a Solomon if not Simon Mchawe who was given K15 000 (He is said to be the student that reported Associate Professor Blessings Chinsinga to the police after he gave a revolutionary example in class). d. Robert, Duncan and Phaniso also courted Catholic University students and promised them one point five million kwacha in return for their cooperation. e. Robert urged the Polytechnic Student Union (PSU) to issue anti-demonstrations statements, but this demand was turned down by the then PSU executive. f. Robert went on air to speak against demonstrations in favor of dialogue. NB: The university students, especially the Polytechnic were the ring leaders in the 20 July Demonstrations and the group targeted them to talk them out. Each of the groups moves was reported to some police officers as a show of progress. Cancellation of the 17 August Demonstrations 17. After the Demonnstratons were cancelled, the group took that as success but the relationship with the police soured especially with the IG failing to give the ten million kwacha. 18. On 20 August Jos called Robert and Justice to their Nkolokosa offices and accused them of being too slow and that the police had to use some other groupings (Remember around the same time the police hold joint meetings with CSOs). Jos also told Chasowa and Justice that the police had convinced Civil Society Organizations by itself hence the cancellation of the ten million kwacha deal. On 23rd August 2011, the Suzuki was returned to the police on Joses instructions. Prior to this Jose had driven Duncan and
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Phaniso to an undisclosed spot in Chiwembe at night. Available information suggests the two were to be disposed off that night by assailants who failed to show up. Behind the backs of Duncan and Phaniso Jose tell Robert and justice that his move was just a ploy to get rid of former two and went on to advise the latter two to join Black Moses group, the idea being to get to the bottom of the people who were the source of information on high profile corruption being circulated in town. In their new posting Robert and Justice Sub-rent out the house rented in Nkolokosa at K105 000 to a tenant identified by Justice. The two make available only nine thousand kwacha to eighteen thousand kwacha to Duncan and Phaniso and claim that the rest of the money had been used to try and pay off irate Polytechnic and catholic university students who were demanding the promised two million kwacha and one point five million kwacha respectively. Also waiting in the wings for a cut were the likes of Ken Msonda and Black Moses and other city hoodlums who took an active leading role in the burning and looting of July 19 2011 to whom Robert had also promised a cut from the ten Million kwacha. The group even bought a sim card (0994378323) for Msonda to talk to the IG himself on why the money was delaying. Msonda sensed trouble from what he discussed with Mukhitho and advised the group to drop the matter. Roberts Downfall 19. To avoid losing face Robert kept pestering Jos, Mukhitho and Peter Mutharika (0999005276) to remind them of the ten Million kwacha. Robert even created a special email through which he used to contact Peter Mutharika. One day Robert and Justice jointly called Peter Mutharika and he gave the phone to Mulli and Noel Masangwi. Justice also talked to Masangwi in his car to no avail and Masangwi and Mulli told off the duo. 20. This turn of events left Robert disgruntled, embarrassed, frustrated, dejected and very! Very! Very! angry. In a fit of rage, he called Jos and told him that he would go public on 27 September if the promised ten Million kwacha was not honored. By then Robert had already talked to Nyasa Times but had not shed much light on the gravity of his war with the then ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the Police. 21. In revenge against the DPP and the Police, Robert joined YDF with bitterness. Now Robert Black Moses and a Chikapa sourced sensitive information on government officials from the likes of Kamlepo Kaluwa, Rafiq Hajat, Ken Lipenga and other disgruntled DPP high ranking officials for publication in a pamphlet called the Weekly Political Update with their phone numbers printed on it. This turn of events makes top ranking DPP officials see real red!!!! Death of Robert 22. Between the month end of August 2011 and 18 September 2011 the Polytechnic goes into end semester holidays. During the holidays Henry Masoka a first year engineering student spots Robert distributing the Weekly Update. News of the discovery reaches Polytechnic DPP Youth Cadets led by Noel Mwenye (The DPP had financed him to the tune of K500 000 to help him secure the presidency of the Polytechnic students Union
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[PSU]). The cadets subsequently notify their handlers in the likes of Noel Masangwi and a Ngalande, the DPP director for Youth for the south. 23. During the same period thugs break into a rented boys quarter of Ndagha Mkandawire (an associate and classmate of Robert) somewhere in the Chichiri area close to the Kamuzu Stadium. The thugs seem to be intent on the computer only (Robert had been using this computer) and they make off with a computer monitor and they do not harm Ndagha (according to her own testimony). 24. The named DPP heavy weights take up the matter most likely with Peter Mutharika who is already aware of the activities of Robert (Peter himself is of temperamental sorts, at one time he offered fifty thousand kwacha to a group of hirings to rough up a young man who had crossed his path. The hirings turned heel and spared the young man at a fee of K50 000. It is said that the young man added an extra k20 000 as a token of appreciation. The young men went on to dupe Peter claiming that they had done the job. Peter paid the young men in person one evening at the Malawi College of Medicine). 25. Besides that Joseph Mwale a former Polytechnic student who illicitly eaves dropped on Peter Muthalikas conversation with Mchacha also received death threats. One of the messages read like this, You will join your friend at H.H.I.. As a result the young man fled to Zambia for some time. 26. This turn of events strongly links Peter Muthalika with the death of Robert. Remember in October 2011, his brother had told the BBC that he would institute a commission of enquiry within forty-eight hours. Is sudden knowledge that someone beloved had ordered the killing the reason for the change of heart? 27. Activities of Robert drove the previously named DPP officials, Poly DPP Youth Cadets and Police from the Southern Region Police Head Quarters into an alliance, desperate to silence Robert. The named DPP officials organize a hit squad comprising of a Dolph from Ndirande, a Sam also called Stone from Limbe Flea Market (This one is among the grouping comprising of: (i) Robert Panya Banda of Nkunda village, TA Changata Thyolo (ii) Francis Goche of Nyangu village TA Makhwira Chikwawa (iii) Donnex Nambwale Phiri of Namijigo village TA Chikumbu, Mulanje.All three were of Limbe Flea Market. (This grouping is among the arsonists who burnt the Blantyre Flea Market and torched the offices of Rafiq Hajat), (i) (ii) (iii) Petros Tembo from Chilobwe, Isaac Osman from Ntopwa in Bangwe and Mike Chitenje from Bangwe. This squad is provided with a white Caravelle which is said to have entered Malawi through Chipata as a hot car alongside three other four by four double cabins (all of them hot cars reputed as belonging to Mulli.
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The cars are said to be based somewhere in Nyambadwe and they use false registration number plates). The hit squad possibly had links with Ali Kaka a Chilomoni based car dealer with connections to Mukhito who is reputed to be in ownership of several hot cars through this link. 28. On 18th September 2011 the Blantyre Police under Mdeza a Mukhito right hand man, arrest Black Moses and remand him at Chichiri prison. The subsequent investigations are led by Caroline Jere. On 19th September Robert visits Black Moses at Chichiri prison. Shortly there after, Robert called Rodney Jose and said, Mwayambanso kutimanga? (The surprise is on considering that it is the Police who had advised him to join Black Moses). Robert goes on to threaten Jose that if the Police do not pay up the promised ten million kwacha, he would spill the beans to the media by Tuesday 27th September, 2011. The traffic of phone conversations between Robert, Mukhito,and Jose come to an abrupt end on 22nd September. Caroline Jere posts some sort of summons through the office of Ruben Chirambo one of the assistant registrars at the Polytechnic for Robert to appear before the police on the 24th of September 2011 for interrogation over the issue to do with the Weekly Political update. At this point in time Robert is receiving death threats from largely unknown assailants. 29. Unknown to Robert the Police have also assembled their own hit squad comprising of Caroline Jere and Chisale, both of Southern Region police Headquarters, Zingunde, Mdowe and other CID officers of Blantyre Police station. How the Hit Squads Got Robert 30. On 23 September 2011 the hit squads are kept updated on the movements of Robert by the Polytechnic DPP wing under the guidance of Noel Mwenye. The hit squads are given free passage into Polytechnic campus by KAMU GUARD jointly owned by Mulli and Kanyoza. Upon leaving Ndaghas room at 3.33 am Robert is grabbed by the hit squad. He is taken to Rodney Joses offices at Police Southern Region Headquarters using Noel Masangwis Land Cruiser (Possibly with Mr. Masangwi in the driving seat). While there he is tortured with shock sticks by a number of Police CID officers led by Rodney Jose, and Mr Chaima (To this effect, Roberts body had burn marks on the back). 31. It seems Robert went comatose. Out of alarm he was taken to Kanjedza Police Training School, possibly for treatment at the schools dispensary. At the school one of the officers on duty is told by the hit squad that they had brought a gravely ill Polytechnic student mwana wa sukulu wa ku Poly wa dwalika. Still unconscious, Robert is rushed back to the Polytechnic possibly due to the fast approaching day break and is dumped at the spot where he was later found lying dead. 32. Dolph, the DPP youth cadet from Ndirande delivered the final death blow to the back of Roberts head. 33. It is said that the members of the hit squad were promised one million kwacha each but were never paid. This created a wrangle between the hit men and the concerned DPP
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officials. A Mr. Nyakamera a DPP official is said to have mediated the matter with Southern Region Police Headquarters. The Guards on Duty 34. For instance on 23 September, 2011 Hyrid, Ndaghas hostel was guarded by E. Phiri on the front side and B. James a dog handler on the back side. Next to Hyrid hostel is Nyika hostel which was guarded by D. Navicha (usually attended to by one guard). After Nyika, there comes Mpingwi hostel which was guarded by D. Makanda on the front side and D. Ali a dog handler on the back side. In moving between Hyrid hostel and Ndirande hostel there is no way all these guards would have failed to notice Robert let alone the assailants who grabbed him. The guards are suspect of complicity in the murder. 35. Not least of all, five meters from the place where Robert was found lying dead is an accounts office guarded by a Harry Makina, a few steps above the spot is the dispensary (where Robert was supposed to have jumped off from) which was guarded by a Chikondi Mwamvera. Some how both guards did not notice any thing unusual. However a Mr Dindo Malipiro a guard at the Main Lecture Theatre is the one who discovered Roberts body. Mr Dindo Malipiro reported the matter to corporal Chiyenda who surprisingly was positioned about four hundred metres away as opposed to the security office a mere ten to twenty meters away. Instead of reporting to the administration the duo reported to a PSU General Secretary Vincent Chaduka who in turn reported to the administration. Then a report went to Soche police under officer in charge. Being somehow aware of the circumstances leading to the death, it seems Makwinja declined to handle the matter. Thus in spite of Polytechnic being an area under his jurisdiction of control the matter is transferred to Blantyre Police station under officer in charge Audrey Mdeza (the Mukhito right hand man). Mdeza accepts to handle the matter in spite of Polytechnic being an area outside his area of control. 36. Henry Masoka a year one welcomes the Police to the campus, he is the one who discovers Roberts phone in Roberts room, and he witnesses Roberts autopsy. The police investigators namely Ntosa of photography, Chabwinja of crime scenes and Mr Chisale an officer at southern region Police headquarters briefly interrogate his roommate Allan Chipwere and Ndagha and leave the crime scene within five minutes. On their way out they confiscate Ndaghas computer *which Robert often used) alongside various written material all belonging to Robert. 37. Contrary to normal procedure, the police worked over the weekend and went on to release a report using the national police spokesperson. Time Line of Events 38. 8 pm 23rd September, Robert speaks to his lawyer Trouble Kalua about his being wanted by police.
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39. 12 am 24 September, Robert arrives in his room in the company of Ndagha Mkandawire (his classmate), they pick up poems to go study them at Ndaghas place (about 300 metres away). 40. 1 am Robert is spotted in the students common room where Ndagha came to buy a cigarette 41. 1am VW Carvella parks just outside Poly campus near the Police Headquarters inside are five people.Oone stays behind in the vehicle and the four go to Poly students common room. 42. 2 am Allan Chipwele, Roberts room mate finds several missed calls of a new number, he calls back and Robert answers and tells him that the number is his new number and that he was at Ndaghas place. 43. 3.33 am Exactly, Robert leaves Ndaghas room for his room in Ndirande hostel. Around four am or five am four strangers hurriedly leave Poly campus (Ndagha has a rehearsed story line on events leading to the death of Robert. From this story line she neither adds nor subtracts. Also notably Robert Mwenye the DPP Poly wing president and then PSU chair did all in his power to prevent lecturers from interviewing Ndagha). Around 5.00 am Robert is discovered lying just below the Polytechnic dispensary by a watchman guarding a spot two to three hundred meters away. NOTES 44. The place where Chasowa was found is surrounded by about five security guards within the ranges of 5, 20, 10 and 25 metres and none of those guards had heard a thud or cry, some involuntary scream. 45. Chasowas room keys were still in his pocket but the phone he had used to call his roommate at 2 am some how found its way to his room.

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