The Robert Chasowa Mystery Untangled

The Info in this publication was put together by an intensive interview with Duncan Phiri

in the presence of several Polytechnic lecturers and interviews with several Poly students.
THE BEGINNING

Robert Chasowa had links with a grouping called New Vision Youth Organisation (herein after referred to as ‘The Group’). It was formed between 2001 and 2002 by Duncan Phiri, Phaniso Mhone and Justice Kangulu (a childhood friend to Chasowa who recruited him [Chasowa] into the fold of the grouping).

The group was into various socio-economic activities, and it survived on rewards from reporting Tax evasion to MRA.

The organisation planned to stop demonstrations planned for August 17 2011 in favour of dialogue with the national president.

Towards this end, the grouping through Duncan (0992222277) at 6:30pm, Saturday 13 August 2011 phoned the Malawi Police Inspector General Peter Mukitho (0888203776) to link them up with the president so that the group could lay down its plan to him in person. Mukhito liked the idea and on the same evening instructed Southern Region Police Commissioner, José to make contact with the group to get a more vivid picture of what the group was really about.

9:30PM same day, José (0888866369) called Duncan to arrange for a meeting on the following morning (Sunday 14 August).

José met Duncan at Green Corner (along Chikwawa Road) and drove to Mirale in Toyota Corolla as Duncan explained the group’s agenda.

José talked to Mukitho who ordered that José drive the group to Lilongwe at once.

José 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 José, 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.

Between 6 and 7pm the group arrived in Lilongwe and it was
Robert who explained the groups aims to the IG, they were offered Chivas and Robert being of sober orientation had some soft but expensive refreshments.

The IG walked out for a good five to 10 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.

Mukitho told the group that they couldn’t 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
colour printer, two digital cameras, two still cameras, a laminating machine, three sensitive recorders and a perforating machine.

The IG provided all the above (in cash?) and offered the group another round of Chivas for the group to carry with them on their way back to Blantyre.

José drove the group to Kameza in Blantyre where they met Justice {at this point José left}. Justice happens to be Black Moses’ cousin. The group spent the night at Black Moses’ house.

On 15 August around 11 AM, Commissioner José called the group to come pick up their 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.

The
group paid K140, 000 upfront in rentals for a house in Nkolokosa belonging to a Mr Mathanga (K35 grand per month)

THE GROUP DID THE FOLLOWING AS PART OF THEIR BARGAIN

1. Robert bought over 10 influential students from Polytechnic with a promise of a K200, 000 from the TEN MILLION promised by Mukitho.

2.The Group won over Ken Msonda and Black Moses with a promise of K250, 000. Msonda was instantly given K6000.00 as transport money and he went over to radios spreading anti-demonstration messages, Msonda also won over Undule Mwakasungula over the same.

Hajat was approached by Black Moses and was reluctant but amicable to the group’s ideas of “No-Demos.”

3. 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 demos. However Duncan spoke of Robert and Black Moses successfully buying over one Symon if not Symon Mchawe who he said was given K15,000 and that he is the student that reported Associate Professor Blessings Chinsinga to the police after he gave a revolutionary example in class.

4. Robert, Duncan and Phaniso also courted Catholic University students and promised them K1500, 000 for their cooperation.

5. Robert urged the Polytechnic Student Union (PSU) to issue anti-demo statements but this was to no avail.

6. Robert went on air to speak against demonstrations and called for 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 as progress.

17 AUGUST DEMOS ARE CANCELLED

After the Demos 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.

On 20 August, José called Robert and Justice to their Nkolokosa offices and accused them of being too slow and that the police had to use some other grouping (CSO?).

José also told Chasowa and Justice that the police had convinced Civil Society Organisations by itself hence the cancellation of the 10 million deal.

On 23 August the Suzuki was returned to the police on Jose’s instructions.

The grouping was bombarded with demands for money from the bought over Poly students, the Catholic University students and Ken Msonda.

The group even bought a simcard (0994378323) for Msonda to talk to the IG himself on why the money was delaying.

Msonda sensed trouble from what he discussed with Mukhito and told the group to drop the matter.

Group rented out the offices to a tenant identified by Justice at K105, 000

ROBERTS’ DOWNFALL?

Robert was bitter and joined YDF where he and his mates: Black Moses and a Chikapa sourced sensitive information from Kamlepo Kaluwa, Rafiq Hajat, Ken Lipenga and other disgruntled DPP high ranking officials to publish in their “Weekly Political Update.”

Robert kept calling José, Mukhito and Peter Mutharika (0999005276) to remind them of the money that was supposed to be given; he [Robert] even created a special email that he used to talk to Peter Mutharika.

One day Robert and Justice called Peter and he gave the phone to Mulli and Masangwi who told them off. Justice also talked to Masangwi in his car.

Robert was frustrated, he called José and said that he would go public on 27 September if the money was not given by then.

Two days earlier, he had already talked to Nyasa Times but didn’t shed more light on the gravity of his war with DPP.

DEATH

8PM / 23 September, Robert speaks to his lawyer (Trouble Kalua) about his being wanted by police.

12AM, 24 September, Robert arrives in his room in the company of Ndagha Mkandawire (his girlfriend), they pick up poems to go study them at Ndaghas place (about 300 metres away)

1PM Robert is spotted in the student’s common room where Ndagha came to buy a cigarette

1PM, a VW Carvella parks just outside Poly campus near the Police Headquarters inside are five people one stays in and the four go to Poly student’s common room.

2AM, Allan, Robert’s roomie finds several missed calls of a new number, he calls back and
Robert answers and says that that is his new number and that he was at Ndagha’s place.

3.33AM Exactly, Robert leaves Ndagha’s room for his place

Around 4AM, four strangers leave Poly campus, they seem in a hurry.

Around 4AM KAMU Security Guards who were guarding the campus on that day, (KAMU = a company Belonging to Mulli Brothers) thought they saw some people pulling on someone and thought it was just drunken students

Around 5AM, Robert is found Dead about 400 metres away from Poly students common room and Ndagha’s Hostel, where he was.

NOTES ON CHASOWAS BODY

Chasowa lost very little blood (not more than a litre) showing that he was not killed by a fall, loss of blood and most importantly that the blood came out via rigour mortis (if the heart was still pumping, there would be a lake of blood) this shows that he was dead before he bled.

Chasowas had dust on his knees, showing that he had knelt. Maybe this was the time he was being forced to write the suicide notes?

Chasowa still had his inner shirt tucked in this shows that he didn’t resist or struggle to his death.

Chasowa was found lying face
down, but the face had no dents to show that he had fallen, his shoulders and all parts of his body had no fracture to show that he had fallen.

Chasowa was found about 10 metres from a place where over 6 years ago a guard had fallen to his death and there was brains and blood spread all over that was not the case with Chasowa.

Chasowa had a clean slit just above his neck; it looked like it had been delivered by a sharp edge like a panga.

The place where Chasowa was found is surrounded by about five security guards within the ranges of 5, 20, 10 10 and 25 metres and none of those guards had heard a thud or cry.

Chasowa’s room keys were still in his pocket but the phone he had used to call his roommate at 2am was in his room.

Chasowa was an Adventist and also a Pentecostal sympathiser, suicide was out of the question.

OTHER ISSUES TO LOOK INTO TO

Why did police investigators only spend 5 minutes on the crime scene and ask nobody else but his room mate and Ndagha and yet come up with a report?

Why did police work over the weekend to release a report when they cannot even give bail over the weekend?

Why did they confiscate Ndagha’s computer [which Robert used a lot] when they had already found a suicide note?

Who put back Robert’s phone in his locker? When? Is he/she not the one who planted the suicide notes?

Why were the suicide notes misaddressed? Would a son address a letter to a dead brother when he meant to address the father?

Why was the case handled by the national police spokesperson when it fell under the regional police?

Why hasn’t Mukitho or
José admitted that they knew
Robert?

click here for a full story at Malawi Voice.

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