Written By Wise One from the East
Reading a statement by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which is purportedly joining in on the condemnation of the arrest of the ACB Director, Martha Chizuma, leaves one laughing and sad at the same time. Laughing because the DPP thinks an arrest of an ACB Director is serious compared to murdering an ACB Director. Sad because it brings us memories of how Issa Njauju, who was the ACB Director of Corporate Affairs at the time got gruesomely murdered by DPP operatives one of which has since been charged.
Issa Njaunju was gruesomely murdered. His body was found buried somewhere in Lilongwe, the capital city of Malawi, few kilometres from Kamuzu Palace, the official residence of Malawi President where the then tenant was Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika of the DPP.
Njauju went missing on July 2, 2015 before his body was discovered two days later behind Presidential Villas where the current ACB Director Stays. The body had bullet wounds on the neck and stomach, according to postmortem results.
His official vehicle, a Toyota Hilux double cabin, was later found burnt along Ntandile Road in Area 49 within the city but in ashes. Malawi mobile operators, using their hightech, located the phone of Issa Njaunju in or around Falls Estate.
Investigations revealed that the ACB received over 20 letters from different sources on how a then State House staffer and Mutharika long time private bodyguard, Norman Paulos Chisale, who had been at State House for less than a year and by the time of Njaunju murder, had accumulated a lot of wealth.
The dossier among other things, wanted Mutharika to know that Norman Paulos Chisale owned, from inexplicable sources and means, among other things, the following assets: a Hummer H3 silver, a Toyota Fortuner 2014 model black, a Toyota V8 metallic grayish, a Red coupe, Toyota quantum minibuses (5), White Mercedes Benz C 200, Toyota D4D (5), White Ford Ranger Sport, Trucks (4), Passenger buses (3), Nissan Tilda Latio (2), Toyota Collora (previously owned by Mutharika Chef), Audi A6L, a mansion in BCA, a plot in Area 6, a mansion in Area 3 plus a lodge in Mangochi.
Investigations revealed that, Paulos Norman Chisale who worked as Director of Security for Mutharika, by the time Njaunju was murdered was a P3 (Assistant Director) and his salary was less than MK 600,000 per month.
The cars alone which Paulos Chisale bought between 2014 to 2015, before Njaunju was killed could be valued at over MK 320 million, when the annual net salary of Chisale was less than MK 10 million at the same period. Even including the foreign travels which Mutharika had at that particular time, Norman Paulos Chisale could not afford to buy those 25 state-of-the-art cars he owned.
The dossier also had information which implicated Mutharika and his body guard in a questionable procurement of a second hand presidential motor home, which was bought twice its actual price from South Africa.
Unfortunately, the dossier, upon its being delivered at the State House, landed in wrong hands. The dossier ended in the hands of security officer, Superintendent Dingani Njolomole –former Director of operations for Mulanje Police Station.
Supt Dingani Njolomole was reportedly loyal to Norman Paulos Chisale at State House and was in-charge of waiting room, which examines confidential documents before President Mutharika could see them. Therefore, the dossier from ACB instead of landing in Mutharika’s hand, ended in the hands of Paulos Norman Chisale who was the culprit.
After realizing what kind of trouble Norman Paulos Chisale was in, he engaged his accomplices at ACB and Malawi Police service to go after who was behind the dossier which was meant to be sent to Mutharika.
Mutharika security man Chisale was told that it must have been Lucas Kondowe who was the ACB Director General at the time and was in the position to speak to Mutharika than any other officers.
A man-hunt for Kondowe was launched by Chisale boys who were, according to reported investigation, led by Chisale’s in-law who was working at Malawi Police and was later arrested in connection to the murder of Njaunju but released.
As odds would have it, those who were sent for the operation did not know both Njaunju and Kondowe and all they had to use as their lead was only the official car which Njaunju was driving on that fateful day. Their mission was carried out, as far as they thought, with “success” believing they had killed Kondowe when in fact, they had killed the wrong person. But Njaunju died just like that.
Just after Issa Njaunju was murdered and his body discovered, an offer of MK 1 million was made that those with information, which could lead to the arrest of Njaunju murder would get. The idea was reportedly instigated by Chisale who is Mutharika personal body guard. Why? To trap Those who knew the truth about Njaunju’s murder. If anyone came up with information which was accurate and could lead in tracing Chisale who in this case is behind the murder of Njaunju, they were to be killed right away.
An in-law to Norman Chisale, i.e. a brother to Chisale’s wife, was arrested. It transpired that the phone which Njaunju was using before his death was sold to a Frank John and that the seller was Chisale’s in-law, who was a police officer based in Lilongwe.
To attract attention, this police officer was bragging at a drinking joint that he knew who was behind the killing of Njaunju. Some people tipped the police and hence the arrest. Only to be released later by the police which Chisale allegedly used to control through his friend, Duncan Mwapasa- who was the Deputy IG administration.
The police carried out an investigations and came to know that Chisale was the man was behind the killing of Njaunju because of the ACB dossier. Chisale could not be touched because the police officers were afraid that they could lose either job or life if they acted on him. Those fears were founded on two reasons: a) Chisale was a powerful man who worked with the state president as his Director of security and managing all the accounts of the president. He was taken as someone with authority. b) Deputy Commissioner of Police Duncan Mwapasa and Chisale were friends. There was no way Mwapasa could allow Chisale to be arrested whilst he was the Inspector General of the police.
Other than the Mwanza murders, the unsolved death of Dr Kalonga Stambuli, and the botched enquiry on Robert Chasowa’s murder; I cannot recall any other highly publicized murders whose investigations have taken so long without bearing fruit. Sources have it that the powers that be were not keen to see Issa Njauju’s murder solved. Simply put, the Mutharika-led DPP administration did everything to kill the case just as the victim was killed.
Evidence to this effect was that when the initial team that was investigating the murder, got too close to the truth; the case was taken off its hands and the team dissolved for no apparent reason. Another team was constituted and this team, knowing that there will be no reward for solving this murder, only victimization, was not motivated to pursue the many leads uncovered by the initial team.
Coming to the leadership, in high and low places in government, no-one wanted to remember Issa Njauju. December 17, 2015 Malawi joined the international community commemorating the International Anti-Corruption day, which falls on 9 December. No high level speaker made mention of Issa Njauju’s murder that took place in the very same year.
Not even a second of silence was observed in Issa Njauju’s honour. President Arthur Peter Mutharika, Hon Tembenu – the then Minister of Justice, and the Director General of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) among other dignitaries had expressly instructed their speech-writers to delete all and any references to Issa Njauju’s murder. Why, I ask, were you afraid to pay tribute to a clear victim of corruption? The answer is clear to everybody.
Meanwhile, the incumbent ACB Director, Martha Chizuma, was arrested by police in an operation that has led to President Lazarus Chakwera suspending the Director of Public Prosecution on whose complaint the police say they acted to arrest Chizuma. DPP is now asking President Lazarus Chakwera to resign over the incident of the ACB Director arrest. This can only be ridiculous.