The day when police picked up suspects in the Robert Chasowa case, many people guessed rightly that one of the daily papers will use “ARRESTED” as their headline.
As predictable as they have become, indeed one paper did just that. However, one thing that people would not have guessed was the set of pictures that were going to accompany the story.
The Nation photojournalist, James Chimpweya, caught it all through the lens.
One of the suspects, Noel Masangwi, being escorted into Police Southern Region Headquarters at Chichiri.
Looking tensed, Masangwi was accompanied by a host of people including his lawyer Kalekeni Kaphale.
At this juncture I think you know what this story is missing.
There is a guy leading the way into the police facility. He is dressed in Khaki attire and military-like boots. His name is and has always been Leston Mulli.
The picture shows the once mighty businessman in a militant stance as if he is saying “let me lead the way for you”
Friendships in their order, I think Mulli did not calculate his game very well here.
Not only does his attire fall short of any militancy (it’s more of a game ranger than what he might have intended), it also speaks volumes of a man who throws himself into a coil of a murder case as if he was also implicated in it.
For Kaphale, those are millions of kwachas trekking into his account. For Salule and Ted, they went there to support their younger brother. For Mulli, it might be two things; friendship or defiance towards the authorities.
Since the new government came into power, Mulli has been playing noisy by insinuating that he is being victimized by being denied business opportunities. He thinks government is deliberately stifling him. I beg to differ; this is one guy who was used to cutting corners as such he should blame his lost pair of scissors not government for his predicament.
In my opinion, Leston Mulli would have toned down his demeanor by dressing appropriately for such an occasion, let alone staying in the background of events because this issue is delicate and sensitive.
Others have tried it before and they have failed. Remember Bakili Muluzi drawing crowds during the early stages of his corruption case? How long did it take for the sympathizers to develop fatigue and stop escorting him to and from court?
It is obvious that having escorted Masangwi into police custody, the militant Mulli travelled back to his comfortable mansion to worry about his diminishing business empire while Masangwi was being led to a stinking place infested with mosquitos and louse.
My message to all DPP supporters who thronged Chilomoni Police station and Blantyre Magistrate Court is that they can concentrate on fruitful ventures rather than wasting their precious time with a situation they cannot change.
This is a murder not political case and Masangwi and his lawyers know that. Robert Chasowa did not deserve to be butchered and as Malawians we can all agree on that.
For now Masangwi might rely on Mulli’s boots but that is not where his survival lies. Let justice prevail