Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC) has been asked to institute an inquiry into the death of Rwandan man Halimana Noel and into other mysterious deaths of refugees and asylum seekers.
In a letter addressed to MHRC Executive Secretary Habiba Osman, Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI) says it wants progress on how the Malawi Police Service (MPS) is handling matter of mysterious deaths involving refugees and asylum seekers.
This follows the recent killing of Emmillie Halimana Noel, who at first was reported to have died in a road accident but later on through post-mortem it was discovered that he may have been killed.
“Hence our resolve to write your good office to step in and call for a public inquiry over the matter. It is also important to put it on record that it is not the first case the MPS have handled which has raised eyebrows, especially cases of victims connected to countries such as Rwanda and Burundi,” reads the letter signed by CDEDI Executive Director Sylvester Namiwa.
He went on to give an account of previous circumstances whereby on December 12, 2015, 32-year-old Jean Claude Gasana, another Lilongwe based businessperson from Rwanda was killed at Discorium entertainment joint but till now nobody has been taken to task yet.
Further to that, Namiwa recounts that on July 10, 2017, unidentified gunmen shot dead another businessperson at Puma filling station in Salima before attempting on a life of another Malawian of Rwandan origin businessman Vincent Nyiongera who survived the attack albeit wounded.
Another Malawian of Rwandan origin Romeo Mukisa 30, who until his death was plying his trade in Area 25, died on November 11, 2018 in a mysterious accident at Wullian Shop close to Bwaila Hospital after the car he was travelling in allegedly plunged into a very shallow drainage on his way home from Rwandan Diaspora meeting that was held around Malangalanga in Lilongwe.
“Madam, you may wish to note that these are just a few cases out of the many cases that go neither unnoticed nor unreported like was the case at hand (of Halimana) where the suspect, who was the driver for the deceased, did not report the matter to any police station despite the alleged death. It is strange that we do not have anyone serving a jail term in connection to such cases involving the same compatriots. If this is not a glaring coincidence, then your office should find a better word to describe the same,” reads the letter.
In the case of Noel, a preliminary postmortem report circulating on social media suggests that Emmillie Halimana Noel may not have died as a result of the alleged car accident.
It is suspected that the accident was aimed at covering up the real cause of Noel’s death. Police have so far arrested Halimana’s driver Raffik Munyamagaju.
Namiwa in his letter to MHRC claimed that police have all the leads to the master-minders of the whole thing but they are using every trick in the book to avoid effecting arrests.
“This is a deliberate ploy to let the matter die a natural death or futile attempt to frustrate the bereaved family to give up on letting justice to be served,” said Namiwa.
He expressed concern that Malawi is currently sitting on a ticking bomb hence the call for public hearing that will generate vital information to quell the situation and ensure that justice is served for all, starting with the case at hand and the many others where lives were needlessly lost.
“We at CDEDI would like to believe that the MPS owes Malawians an explanation as to why they find it difficult to investigate and arrest the suspects, given the glaring trail of evidence in such cases,” he said.
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