The Weekly Political Update which polytechnic student Robert Chasowa and his group, Youth for Freedom and Democracy (YDF), were publishing makes serious allegations of rampant corruption and abuse of government resources by the ruling party and demands honest political leadership to save Malawi’s democracy.
Chasowa was YDF vice president at the time of his murder on September 24.
Police said in the immediate statement after his death that they had been looking for him in connection with the publication that was “insulting the head of state and making serious allegations against government”.
They had also arrested and detained YDF president Black Moses because of the same publication.
The Sunday Times has obtained copies of the first six issues of the publication. The first issue dated July 25, 2011 condoles with families of those killed in the July 20 demonstrations.
The language used is scathing and militant in some sections and also demands that President Bingu wa Mutharika explains how he has acquired his wealth and property in Limbe “at the expense of poor Malawians”.
It asks government to investigate the house sale scam at Malawi Housing Corporation and provide answers on persistent power blackouts and water disruption.
“We do not belong to any political party. [This] is a movement for freedom, peace, justice and democracy,” reads the inaugural issue which contains mobile phone numbers for Black Moses and two others.
“We are for the promotion of a tribe-free, regionalism-free, nepotism-free and sectionalism-free Malawi,” reads one of the issues.
The single-paged publication questions the high rate of unemployment among young people in Malawi. It alleges the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) extorted resources from Escom, Blantyre Water Board and MHC to finance its campaign in the 2009 elections.
YDF questions government’s spending of K5.2 million on a vehicle for Chief M’mbelwa.
It alleges that Inspector General of Police Peter Mukhitho spent tens of millions of kwachas purchasing trailers at a truck company in Blantyre “when the government cannot pay its civil servants on time”.
In the publication, YDF claims that multi-million worth of contracts have been dubiously awarded to DPP members and government sympathisers – both individuals and companies.
According to the publication some named top government and party officials have joint fat accounts in foreign banks.
YDF attacks DPP cadets for their terror on July 19 and implicates DPP stalwarts for torching offices of Institute for Policy Interaction in Blantyre.
“We in the Youth for Freedom and Democracy are not looking for a large following, integrity or money, but a person that would bring in national unity and our country back from dictatorship,” reads the fifth issue of September 6.
The sixth issue, dated September 19 reads: “Mr President, the things we do today will haunt us for years to come. Mr President, you are leaving office in 2014 and we in the Youth for Freedom and Democracy will definitely take you to account for the wealth you have accumulated at the expense of poor Malawians.
“Mr President Sir, you will be arrested soon after leaving the office in 2014 and we will be state witnesses on all issues of human rights abuses you have committed so far in Malawi.
“Malawians are demonstrating on Wednesday the 21st September 2011, we appeal to the conscious of your good office to respect their constitutional right, by not sending the police to shoot and kill them.”
Moses, who is on bail on charges of sedition, yesterday said he was not in a position to reveal where they were getting details of the alleged underhand dealings in government.
But some students at The Polytechnic said Chasowa told them YDF had top connections in the DPP and government who pass on information to them about the shady dealings.
It is alleged Chasowa was murdered because he had threatened to spill more secrets if the police did not honour their pledge to pay him for working to foil protests that were scheduled for August 21.
Moses said they are still publishing the update.
“Even during the time I was in police custody, the update came out. It will continue to come out. We have no ill intentions against anyone in government. All we are fighting for is the greater good and defend democracy that Malawians got in 1993,” he said.