Finally, the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government has been forced to arrest and start processing extradition for Vincent Murekezi, a Rwandan national who was convicted, in absentia in his home country, for the role he played in the slaughtering of his of own two million compatriots.
Rwanda experienced one of the most heinous crimes against humanity when Tutsis and moderate Hutus were butchered in ethnic cleansing.
But what puzzles many is the remarkable cold-feet that the DPP administration developed whenever the issue of Murekezi was mentioned.
Records of Murekezi’s unwelcome stay in Malawi show that he only throve every time the DPP was in power.
Firstly, Murekezi discreetly entered Malawi in 2004 when the first DPP administration came to power. He remained undetected until in September 2009 when Kigali asked Lilongwe to hand him over to his home country for trial. The Malawi Government did not even bother to respond to Rwanda’s demands and kept on protecting Murekezi. Everyone knows that 2009 was the year when the first DPP administration consolidated power by participating and going to the polls as a political party. In 2004, DPP founder, the late Bingu wa Mutharika, was sponsored by the United Democratic Front to contest and win the national elections.
Then in August 2011, still under the DPP watch, the fugitive was granted Malawian citizenship. He was consequently issued the once coveted Malawi Passport (MA 078171). The DPP administration even facilitated the convict’s change of name to Vincent Banda.
The DPP government felt that it had not done enough favours to the professional assassin and issued him yet another Malawian Passport (MA 606888) under the name Vincent Murekezi.
Interestingly, when the first DPP administration lost power upon the death Bingu, Murekezi left Malawi furtively only to return when the second DPP government regained control some two years ago.
By granting Murekezi a number of Malawian Passports, the DPP government clearly knew the role he was playing to advance its political aims. The many passport copies that Murekezi has could enable him to change identities after committing a crime.
But even when our sister paper, The Daily Times, broke the story about the lurking danger that Murekezi was in the Malawi a few weeks ago, the government was dodgy and worked hard to protect him.
Home Affairs Minister, Grace Chiumia, only said “we are investigating the issue.” Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Immigration played hide and seek.
When he was arrested two days ago, police spokespersons were tongue-tied to confirm the arrest until late in the afternoon.
A meeting that the relevant parliamentary committees planned to discuss Murekezi was cancelled at the eleventh hour, this week.
Now what a genocide convict knows best is to kill people and oftentimes without trace.
Malawi has of late experienced very strange deaths that the DPP administration and its organs, such as the police, are failing to explain.
The country is still eagerly waiting to learn circumstances surrounding the mysterious death of a Polytechnic student, Robert Chasowa. But one thing that the country knows is that, one of Chasowa’s friends told an inquiry that one of the assassins had a foreign accent and spoke some broken Chichewa.
Add to the mix, the death of Anti-Corruption Bureau director of administration, Issah Njauju. The National Police Headquarters publicly and shamelessly confessed that Njauju’s assassin was beyond Area 30’s intelligence.
Now save for a few marksmen that the law allows the government to train and pay, which other Malawian has specialised in killing people without trace? When you talk about the uncouth DPP cadets, what they know is the use of shinny pangas and some brunt objects which they use to bludgeon their victims.
But Murekezi is in his own class. The Gacaca Court, south of Rwanda classified him as a first category offender and sentenced him to life imprisonment.
It is common knowledge that the DPP government enjoys flirting with law breakers. Its own cabinet has members who have been implicated in theft of public money and other crimes. The suspects cheekily say that it is up to President Peter Mutharika, as an appointing authority, to fire them. On the other hand, the President demands evidence instead of asking relevant bodies to investigate these thieves and come up with the evidence.
But looking at the enormous risks that the government exposed Malawians to by harbouring this assassin and snubbing international conventions on war crimes, Malawians are left wondering as to why the ruling DPP loves and protects thugs
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