Ndanga’s three coaccused still at large
By Alick Ponje
Three men accused of having a hand in the brutal killing of three members of one family in Lilongwe but jumped court bail are still at large, The Sunday Times has established.
Kasimu Hassan, Mpheya Peter Makina and George Mang’anda, as a result, had their respective bails revoked and their sureties, ranging from K500,000 to K2 million, forfeited to the government.
They are answering charges bordering on the brutal killing alongside now-replaced United Democratic Front publicity secretary Ken Ndanga who was arrested in August last year.
In total, 12 people were arrested by the police in relation to the bombing of a UTM officer in Lilongwe’s Area 24, which housed Selemani Tambala’s family. He, together with his wife Ayilesi and his 11-year-old son Shukurani, died from wounds sustained in the inferno.
The attack also left three children seriously injured.
After the High Court in Lilongwe learnt in May this year that three of the accused in the murder case had jumped bail, it issued warrants of arrest to be executed by the police.
A source privy to the case confided in us that Hassan, Makina and Mang’anda have not yet been apprehended and indicated they might have fled the country.
National police spokesperson James Kadadzera could not respond to our queries on the status of executing the arrest warrants.
He had initially promised to seek information from officers handling the matter but could not provide any response even after several reminders spanning close to two weeks.
Director of Public Prosecutions Steven Kayuni said in an interview that the State is now waiting for the court to set a date when trial of the case will continue.
“The registrar will advise us when the case goes back to court again. We are determined to take this matter to its conclusion. It is our wish to ensure justice is served in this case,” Kayuni said.
Lawyer representing Ndanga Innocent Kubwalo said he was ready to start defending his client even during the session when the matter was last adjourned.
“Whenever a new date is set, we are ready to go to court. So, we will equally be waiting for the date. Otherwise, in the meantime, there is nothing much that I can say,” Kubwalo said.
He further disclosed that none of the three who jumped bail was his client.
Another defence lawyer, Oscar Taulo, indicated that he is ready to defend his remaining client after Mang’anda— whom he was also representing—jumped bail and is being wanted by the police.
On his application, the court granted Taulo an order discharging him from further representing Mang’anda.
“At bail hearing, I had five clients. During trial, there were two of them and now I am remaining with one, Steven Jumapiri,” Taulo said.
The torching of the office—where Selemani worked as a security guard—happened prior to the June 23 court-sanctioned fresh presidential election.
Several bodies including the Human Rights Defenders Coalition condemned the attack and challenged the police to hunt down the perpetrators of what came to be known as one of the worse crimes affecting a single family.