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‘Issa Njauju murderers in high offices’

Some activists have raised eyebrows following a fresh arrest of a second police officer in connection with the gruesome murder of Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Director of Corporate Affairs, Issa Njauju, saying the development might be a pointer that the people behind the death are in authority.

Police last week arrested Titus Thombozi who is a police officer based in the border district of Mchinji in connection with the murder of the high-profile official, and in December last year the law enforcers also apprehended another officer, Christopher Naphiyo, who is still on remand.

Interestingly, the police are still keeping a tight lid on the progress of the investigations and the information gathered through interrogations of the suspects is still being kept away from the public.

But a social commentator Rafik Hajat has observed that police officers do not act on their own but that they obey orders and wondered as to who might have issued such an order.

In an interview on Tuesday, the activist said rationally it is quite baffling that any police officer would benefit from being involved in the murder of an ACB official unless sent by people in authority.

“The police officers themselves know the consequences of such a dreadful act and I don’t believe that any officer can just wake up and act on his own, officers follow orders” Hajat said.

National Police Spokesperson, James Kadadzera, could not shed light on the theory, saying he had just been promoted into the new office and suggested that his deputy, Thomex Nyaude, would be better placed to comment, but the deputy PRO was not readily available.

Executive Director of Human Rights and Rehabilitation (CHRR), Timothy Mtambo, concurred with Hajat, arguing that one cannot rule out the conspiracy theory that some men in uniform do dirty work for people in high offices, especially going by the increasing cases of police officers involvement in criminal activities.

“One cannot help but speculate that people with power and money can higher crooked cops to carry out their sinister motives. The recruitment exercise in the police is porous and we have had instances whereby some politicians and other officials in government are said to have put forward names of people that they want to be employed as officers.

“This speaks volumes because what if some of the people that are being recruited are deliberately put in the system so as to be doing the dirty work for some of these people in power,” Mtambo said.

He added that the mere fact that a number of police officers have been arrested in armed robberies and other serious offences means, as a country, there are still some bad apples in the police service.

“People are living in fear and not many people trust police officers anymore. This should be a cause for worry because if the police cannot be trusted, then where do citizens go? Of course, there are still some professional officers who are dedicated to their duty and their image is being tainted by the bad apples,” he said.

The ACB official was murdered in July last year and his body was discovered behind presidential villas in Lilongwe two days after he had gone missing, while his vehicle which was burnt was found in one of the townships in the city.

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