Magistrate Shaireene Yona of the Lilongwe Registry yesterday formally charged former president Peter Mutharika’s security aide, Norman Chisale, with murder in relation to the death of Issa Njauju, who was the Director of Corporate Services at the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB). The case has since been committed to the High Court.
National Police Deputy Spokesperson, Thomeck Nyaude, confirmed that Chisale appeared before the Magistrates Court in Lilongwe, which had convened at the Child Justice Court premises to give room for Covid-19 disinfection at the Magistrates Court in Area 3.
“Norman Chisale appeared before the Magistrates Court in the morning on Friday at the Lilongwe Child Justice court situated in Area 4, he is yet to take plea,” Nyaude said.
According to Nyaude, Chisale is suspected to have been involved in the murder of Njauju. Chisale’s lawyer, Chancy Gondwe, also confirmed the development.
“I can confirm that my client has been charged of murder offence. He has been remanded pending committal of the matter to the High Court where he shall be formally charged,” he said.
In 2016, a year after the death of Njauju, police had put up a reward of K 2 million for a tip-off from anyone who might have known people that killed the ACB officer. However, years had gone by without the police making tangible progress on the matter.
In May, 2018 some civil rights groups in the country petitioned the African Union, after noting that the previous administration was lacking political will to investigate Njauju’s murder and bring culprits to book. “Malawi Government commenced investigations and initiated arrests for the suspects. It is disappointing that up to date justice has not been delivered and there is no political will to conclude these cases… Malawians are worried whether the Robert Chasowa and Issa Njauju cases and even the July 2011 killings will see justice because these cases had a lot of political linkages as revealed by inquiry reports,” read the petition, which was presented to the 62nd Session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights.
Five years ago, police made two arrests in connection to the murder of Njauju and it is not yet clear if the two are still in the hands of the law enforcers. Njauju was murdered and buried along the banks of Lilongwe River. The car he had been using on the day of his murder, which was burnt to ashes, was recovered at Mtsiriza near the plushy suburb of Area 47.