By Iommie CHIWALO
Concerned citizens have given the Malawi Police Service seven days to put to light the circumstances that led to the death of Malawian of Rwandan origin Noel Halimana who initially reportedly died in road accident but later on discovered that his death was due to strangulation.
In a statement signed by representatives of the concerned citizens, Wales Khama, Cynthia Chikalema and Esther Kubwalo, have given the police seven (7) days to ensure that all those that carried the body from one place to another to be arrested and interrogated since they owe Malawians an explanation over their strange conduct.
The grouping says has arrived at this stage after learning that the death of Halimana has been established that it was an organised crime.
For instance, the concerned citizens have brought to the attention of the police about their individual investigation at Maula prison where the driver of the deceased is being remanded.
The grouping says is disheartening to note that some bad apples in the Malawi Police Service have a very strange way of handling cases involving foreign nationals especially refugees and asylum seekers, a development that raises eye brows and in most cases they go flat-out shielding criminals for economic benefit at the expense of national security.
“It is for this reason that, we the Concerned Citizens are here today, vowing to fight for justice to prevail on the death of Noel who met his fate on his way from Dzaleka refugee camp in Dowa,” reads the statement from the concerned citizens.
Following the precepts to the sequence of events, the concerned citizens are convinced that Noel’s death was arranged, a development that is smelling foul play all over.
“Failure to act within the specified time will leave us with no option but take to the streets to protest this shameful act by the police. We just want the Malawi Police Service to desist from any conduct that has the potential to erode the trust the citizens have in their police, and strive to safeguard the gains made in as far as our global record in relation to hosting refugees and asylum seekers is concerned,” reads the statement.
Adding that some quarters within the police would like to make us believe that Noel died on the spot after an accident involving his personal vehicle, a Toyota Hiace minibus registration number KK 3519 he was travelling in. The police arrested the driver, a Rwandan national Raffick Munyamagaju who survived the purported accident unscratched.
The grouping alleges that the driver, is reportedly fearing for his own life while on remand at Maula prison.
“It is sad to report that these people are that powerful to an extent that Rafik is feeling insecure while in prison. Rafik’s safety at Maula prison should therefore be guaranteed by both the MPS and their counterpart the Malawi Prison Services. Those police officers that are intimidating the deceased’s immediate relatives should also be disciplined. We cannot afford to let few bad apples to dent the image of our country, let alone compromise the safety and security of this great republic,” say the concerned citizens.
Giving the whole incident grey areas is the fact that the driver did not report the accident to the nearest police station at Kanengo. But the police instituted initial investigations that led to the driver’s arrest only to be released on bail without being charged.
It is further reported that there was drama as a group connected to the driver’s family, who happens to be the deceased’s brother in-laws , took control of everything without waiting for the police to do their work as is always the case during road accidents.
“It is reported that the family members took Noel’s body to Daeyung Hospital allegedly for postmortem and embalming during the same night. As this was happening, some members of the group were busy making burial arrangements including buying a coffin the same night in readiness for burial without the involvement of the deceased’s blood relations but when Noel’s relations learnt of the alleged accident and the death, they moved in to stop everything, and at this point the body was transferred to Kamuzu Central Hospital and upon the arrival of the blood relations, everything was put to a halt and a proper autopsy was conducted on 20th October 2022, which concluded that Noel did not die as a result of the road traffic accident, but rather strangulation. This has been collaborated by the driver’s own confession when we visited him at Maula prison following his re-arrest after reservations by direct brothers to the deceased,”
The Police is yet to speak to this publication but postmortem report in our possession really shows the death was not due to road accident.