In the game of politics, so much happens and yet no accountability is ever made. It is a game that is exciting to see, but not too much fun to join. That is the case with Malawi, our political environment is filled with crime that it takes away any appetite for one to join. With that in mind, there have been moments of action that till date, no one can ever pin point on who did what. This is a tale of some of the unresolved political cases in Malawi, that are rotting away in our courts.
A lot of people have now gained respect for our courts due to the Malawi Elections Case 2019. However, it does not take away the many cases that remain unsolved.
10 Unresolved Political Cases in Malawi
Some of these cases are either still pending in court, or have been completely buried.
1. Bakili Muluzi’s Corruption Case
We cannot start this list without the OG, the former President of Malawi, Dr Bakili_Muluzi. His case dates as back as 2005, a year after he finished his last term as president. He was arrested for numerous corruption charges. However, the trial kept being pushed back due to his ill health, especially the numerous back operations he had to undergo.
In 2005, the fraud charges were momentarily dropped when Gustav Kaliwo, former Anti-Corruption Bureau official was suspended. Trial started in 2009, where he denied the K1.7 billion ($11m) corruption charges. It is alleged that Muluzi siphoned donor funding to his own personal account, along with his former assistant.
15 years later, and it remains a case that is milking Malawi a lot of money. A case that has been adjourned so much. Until now, nothing fruitful has come out.
2. Who Killed Robert Chasowa?
I remember his death like yesterday. I was learning at the Polytechnic Continuing Education Center. I had just gotten to school when my close friend notified me of his death. Instantly, we rushed to the scene and were welcomed by his pool of blood.
Robert_Chasowa was a Polytechnic engineering student and a political activist. His was known around for his role in the cancellation of the August 11, 2011 demonstrations that were meant to take place in all cities of the country. But, he gained a lot of popularity when he turned his back on Democratic Progressive Party and the Southern Region Police. He joined Youth for Democracy which had a weekly political newsletter and heavily criticized the Bingu_wa_Mutharika administration.
On September 24, 2011 his body was found dead lying in his own pool of blood. The 2011 investigation ruled it as suicide and claimed he had thrown himself from the five story building. Thus the case was closed. However, when Joyce_Banda got into power, a commission of inquiry was initiated. In October 2012, the commission ruled his death as murder.
Till date, no one has been convicted of his death.
Must read on the story:
3. The Prophet who Succumbed to Pneumonia
I was only four years old when he died, but his legacy is one everyone hear about. A Evison Matafale in the Malawian music industry, but this is not all he was known for. He was also a political activist during the Bakili Muluzi administration.
During the time, he wrote several letters to the president which openly criticized him of the policies he stood by. Evison criticized him on the rising businesses by the Asian community. As well as the oppression of the Malawian peope.
On November 24th, 2001 he was taken in for questioning and was detained at Maula Prison. There he succumbed to pneumonia and died. However, till date, there are many that believe he was tortured in the police cell. But, it will forever remain a mystery.
4. Foul play boys
Dr Precious Kalonga Stambuli was Bakili Muluzi’s assistant and Chief Economic Advisor. A fell out with the former president led to him fleeing the country to Malaysia and Finland. It was there where he wrote an expose discussing corrupt deals involving Bakili.
He then came back after reconciling with the Bakilii, and was put in charge of an investment bank that never saw light.
In December 2003, he was found dead in his bedroom with a note that read “You are very sinful.” A commission of inquiry was formed and an autopsy made. Results showed that he was poisoned, and was also strangled to death.
Till date, no man was arrested for murder.
5. A man buried close to the State House
Issa Njaunju was an Anti-Corruption Bureau’s Director of Corporate Services who, by the time of his death, was investigating the wealth accumulated by Paulos Chisale. His death is one that gets me the most angry due to the facts that were found.
Before his death, he had written President Peter Mutharika a dossier of how his Director of Security had accumulated wealth close to K577 million within a year of working at the state house. Why this was shocking? Paulos Chisale only made K600,000 per month at the time. It was found that the excess wealth was accumulated through corrupt ways.
On July 5th, 2015, he was gruesomely murdered and his body buried close to the Lilongwe River close to the Presidential villa. He was shot twice, on the neck and chest, and his car was burnt to ashes.
Before his body was found, Paulos Chisale put on the table the amount of K1 million as award money to anyone that knew of the disappearance of Njaunju.
Pauos Chisale and Ben Phiri were alleged to be masterminds, but no legal action was taken.
9 Unresolved Political Cases in Malawi….. lets continue
6. A Former Budget Director with a Bullet on his Cheek
In 2013, the whole country sympathized with Paul Mphwiyo, who was then the National Budget Director. He had been shot in what was an assassination attempt. This led to Ralph Kasambara’s arrest. But this is far from what I want to discuss.
Do you remember when he was arrested for his involvement in Cashgate, the same scandal that came to light after the assassination attempt.
He was accused of siphoning almost K3 billion, and was the mastermind to the scandal which saw the looting of over K20 billion.
Today, he walks free as a bird.
7. There is a Gate for every Fraud
Cashgate, maizegate, tractorgate. There literally is a gate for every fraud.
George Chaponda, ex Minister of Agriculture, was in 2016 charged on three counts:
a) influencing a public officer to misuse his position
b) possession of foreign currency
c) providing false information to the Anti–Corruption Bureau
In 2018, he was found not-guilty on all counts and became a free man.
8. Demonstrations that killed 18
Every Malawian remembers 20 July, 2011. Malawi had the biggest protests the region has ever seen. These protests were organised by Concerned Citizens which included CSOs, religious groupings, students etc.
They were called The Red Army for Democracy and Peace. The grievances included electricity shortages, fuel shortfalls, zero deficit budget etc.
On the day, Malawi lost 18 souls who were killed as enforcement’s response to the protests.
9. Political Justice and Rape of our Queens
Finally, the case of the Msundwe girls who were raped during protests in 2019. The girls and women were raped in their homes by police officers who were on duty to keep peace and calm during one of the biggest political protests of 2019.
Till date, the police are yet to release a report of the events that happened. What is more sad is tht during that during the investigation, the investigation team threatened and verbally abused the women to further worsen their trauma.
This was to bring light to just a small portion of unresolved political cases in Malawi. All these cases seem not to be close to their end date, but all we can do is hope that one day justice shall prevail.
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