Chasowa’s father bitter over son’s murder


Father to slain Polytechnic student Robert Chasowa has said he is anxious to know who killed his son and why he or she did so.

Austin Chasowa said in an exclusive interview in Lilongwe on Wednesday that he, his wife Chrissy and their two sons and two daughters in the family are still grappling to come to terms with Robert’s murder, 14 months after getting news that his body had been found dead on Polytechnic campus in Blantyre.

When put to him that the police had on Tuesday night began arresting people suspected of murdering his son, Chasowa senior insisted that his interest was to know who killed his son.

Chasowa, who said has not yet been given the findings of the recent commission of inquiry into his son’s death, said information on events leading to his son’s murder in September last year has eroded all the trust he had in the police especially that some police officers are suspects.

“The first people to blame are the police. Instead of them protecting civilians they were the ones in the forefront telling lies. They are now my enemies. When I see a police officer now, it’s like I am seeing a snake. I can’t trust them. I can’t. I can’t. I can’t. I really want to know who did this to Robert,” said Chasowa, adding “Robert was a lovely son, very cheerful. He was very straight forward to me on issues.”

He said before the commission presented its report to President Joyce Banda, he was informed “so that I was not surprised”, but has todate not been given an official version of the report.

He said his family was now anxious to know who exactly struck Robert dead and why.

“Robert was killed. The same people who denied that Robert had been killed are the suspects now. I don’t know who to trust. The state lied to me.

“But of course I am glad and relieved in the way things are moving (the arrests). I want to know what crime Robert committed to deserve such a brutal death. That is what I am interested in; not compensation,” he said.

Chasowa senior said on being told about Robert’s death, he said he was immediately reminded of the murder of his first born son Kingsley on June 2, 2007 and the fact that the mystery about his death has not been solved to date.

“Blantyre Police Station still has a file on him (Kingsley) on the shelves as well and they still tell us they are investigating. The same police keep telling us conflicting stories. It appears poverty is a crime indeed. Up to now, I don’t know who did it,” Austin said.

He said he looked at Robert as his own father; “someone to look up to in my old age” and that his brutal murder shattered all the family’s hope of a happy home where smile and laughter would reign.

“Honestly, I can’t bear losing two sons to murderers. Now my whole family is a scared family. I had four sons and two daughters. Now I have two sons and two daughters and we don’t know who will be next. It has disturbed everything in our lives,” Austin said.

However, he said he is thankful to friends and Malawians for their support.

To this day, Austin moves about with two photos of his young energetic sons, Robert and Kingsley. They pose smiling. They are both dead. They were both murdered.

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