Brevities on Robert Chasowa, other matters
The latest some of us have heard about The Polytechnic ex-student Robert Chasowa is that the police have consulted another expert on handwriting, that the expert has confirmed the suicide note was in Chasowa’s handwriting.
If the police mean to close the investigation at this stage, they will be shortchanging the nation. Even if the note was indeed written by the deceased, this does not necessarily imply he killed himself. There is still a possibility that he was murdered.
More than 40 years ago, I was working in the Malawi Embassy, Bonn, then the capital city of West Germany. One day I bought a book in a bookshop with the title Famous Trick or Great Trials. The book had been translated from either German or French. The trials it narrated had taken place both in France and Germany.
One of the cases was about a man who was suspected to have killed his young wife. For some time, people had noticed that he was more emotionally attached to his mother in-law than to his wife. Therefore, though the wife left a suicide note in which he bequeathed her property to her husband, relatives did not believe the note or the bequests were genuine.
In court, the accusers were unable to prove that the suicide note had been forged by the husband. One writing expert after another testified the note had been written by the deceased woman.
The court was about to close case with a not-guilty verdict when the relatives heard of a super expert in identifying handwritings. That veteran was brought into the court from another city in Germany. After thoroughly scrutinising the note, he also confirmed that it had been written by the deceased. However, he went on to say, that she had not done it consciously but that she had been hypnotised. Unfortunately, I have been missing the book all these years and so cannot quote the exact words. But as soon as the psychologist and handwriting expert uttered the words, the accused froze with horror. His trick had been uncovered. He confessed and was convicted.
How hypotisers actually operate their ticks I do not know. That such people do exist reminds me of what I used to hear during my boyhood days. A grown-up person would say in chiTumbuka ngana wali na mgoneka [so and so has the power to send someone to sleep]. This was said of a man who was supposed to have raped a woman by first mesmerising her.
Since the advent of multiparty era, several suspected political murders have taken place. No one has been taken to court. We do not know whether the murderers are too good at covering up their footprints or someone is protecting them. If investigations of murder cases are hastily discontinued, they will encourage other political murders.
If it is true that some donors have offered to fund the services of Scotland Yard, the government should accept the offer, thereby exonerating itself from suspicion. Besides the action will warn those who get hired for illegal acts that law enforcement officers will go to all lengths to apprehend them.
What is the difference between jealousy and envy? Jealousy involves hatred. When you are jealousy of someone, you wish you could eliminate him or her. Jealousy takes place in several situations; someone seduces your spouse; someone gets the job you have been trying to get; someone secures the promotion which has been denied to you for so long. Jealous people speak ill of those who have done better. In villages, a man works hard in the field and reaps a bumper harvest; jealousy people say he uses magic. At work, a woman who ascends to the top with rapid steps is suspected of illicit behaviour. In all cases, jealous y is destructive. Sometimes you are jealous of someone who has trampled on your feet. Jealousy is excusable where someone has provoked you; it is not excusable where someone has attained something without standing in your way.
Though envy resembles jealousy, it is less evil. When you are envious of someone, you generally you wish you could do something similar to what he or she has done. You do not necessarily wish them evil. Civilisation grows out of limitation. Envy impels you to imitate; jealousy to destroy someone.
In The Nation of Friday April 21 2017, we read that the Malawi Electoral Commission had postponed by-election in Lilongwe and Dedza because the Treasury has failed to release the funds it had earmarked for the process.
The reasons given by the secretary to the Treasury are sound economic and social decisions. We live under grave economic scarcities. We cannot have everything we want at the same time. More urgent should be given priority over lesser ones.
By postponing the elections, the potential winners have been deprived of the salaries they would be earning soon after June 6 2017. But if the funds had been used for the big elections instead of purchasing drugs, many people in hospitals would been exposed to deaths from curable diseases. Surely, it is more responsible to save the lives of many than to create jobs for a few.
Whatever the constitutional law says, it must be confronted with economic principles about opportunity costs. Life is about choice making where scarcities prevail.
A vibrant writer who gives a great insight on hot topics and issues