2024-07-12

Opinion: Is it too early to start investigations into the deadly VP Chilima plane crash?

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Preamble

Malawi Defence Force (MDF) spokesperson Kelvin Mlelemba says it is too early to start talking about investigations into the deadly plane crash in Mzimba.

This is in reaction to growing calls for a thorough investigation into what caused the plane crash which claimed nine lives including Vice President Saulos Chilima and former first lady Patricia Shanil Dzimbiri.

Argument

It is quite surprising, annoying, heartbreaking, and suspicious that the MDF can say something like that because the person who flew in that military plane was the Vice President of this country.

Secondly, for the very reason that the aircraft involved in the fatal accident belonged to MDF, there is good reason for MDF to be interested in the investigation so that they equally know what brought down the plane.

The rule of law is a durable system of laws, institutions, norms, and community commitment that delivers four universal principles: accountability, just law, open government, and accessible and impartial justice. Accountability The government as well as private actors are accountable under the law.

Investigations

An investigation will typically begin something like this: When a crime has been committed, the police will apprehend the suspect. The police will then pass the details of the case onto a prosecutor who will decide whether there are sufficient grounds to make an arrest.

An investigation is required if an incident: Results in time loss. Requires off-site medical attention for a worker. Could have caused serious injury or death to a worker.

Malawians need a thorough investigation into this fatal plane crash. If conducted properly, the investigations will help to protect the interests of the nation by identifying wrongdoings and supporting the government and everyone else with fair, objective a, and informed decision-making.

The primary object of investigation is to collect material and find out evidence as to the mission of an offence. It, therefore, ends with the formation of opinion as to whether on the material collected, there is a case for trial against the accused.

If you believe a police officer or a police department failed to properly investigate a crime or that their actions were in violation of your rights, you can: Complain directly to the police department. File a complaint for police misconduct with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Conclusion

In conclusion, when investigating bodies fail to properly investigate, it can lead to serious consequences including:

Erosion of Trust: Public confidence in the integrity and competence of the investigative body diminishes. This can affect trust in the broader institutions of governance or justice.

Justice Delayed or Denied: Victims may not receive justice, and perpetrators may not be held accountable, leading to a sense of injustice and potential further harm.

Lack of Accountability: Without thorough investigations, systemic issues or misconduct within organizations remain unaddressed, perpetuating harmful practices.

Impunity: Perpetrators of crimes or misconduct may continue their activities without fear of repercussions, emboldening others and potentially increasing the incidence of wrongdoing.

Wasted Resources: Ineffective investigations can waste public funds and resources, which could have been used more effectively elsewhere.

Impact on Morale: Within the investigating body itself, failure to investigate properly can demoralize conscientious staff and contribute to a culture of cynicism or corruption.

To mitigate these issues, mechanisms such as oversight by independent bodies, transparency measures, public reporting, and avenues for whistleblowers are crucial. Ensuring adequate training, resources, and a culture of accountability within investigative bodies is also essential.

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