3 suspects in UTM office torching at large
Three of the 13 people suspected to have torched UTM offices in Lilongwe, resulting in the death of three people of the same family in May last year, are at large.
As a result, bail for the three— namely Kasimu Hassan, Mpheya Peter Makina and George Mang’anda— has been revoked and their sureties, ranging from K500,000 to K2 million, have been forfeited to the government.
Mang’anda’s lawyer Oscar Taulo told The Daily Times that the court has made the order for the sureties to be forfeited.
“The court has further, on my application, granted an order discharging me from representing further the said George Mang’anda,” Taulo said.
The three suspects failed to appear in court on May 10 this year, prompting High Court Judge Annabel Mtalimanja to adjourn the case to May 31 2021 for plea and direction on the matter.
The judge had ordered the three to appear before the court on May 24 with their sureties to give “substance and show cause” for their absence.
The court had indicated that what the three did was unacceptable because they had not shown “proper cause”.
The judge further explained that their absence had the possibility of inconveniencing the other 10 suspects and lawyers involved in the case.
Six members of the Tambala family —parents and children— were severely burnt when the UTM office was torched down by unknown people, an incident which led to the death of Selemani Tambala, who was working as a guard, his wife and a son.
Among the suspects is former United Democratic Front publicity secretary Ken Ndanga, who was present in court.
Taulo had asked the court to allow his client to explain before the court the reason behind the absence in fear of having his bail revoked.
The High Court granted bail to the suspects on August 26 last year after they spent a month in custody.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.