Suspected UTM office arsonists in no-show


Three of the 13 people suspected to have torched UTM offices in Lilongwe in May last year, resulting in the death of three people of the same family, failed to show up in court Monday.

High Court Judge Annabel Mtalimanja had no choice but to adjourn the case to May 31 2021 for plea and direction on the matter.

The judge has also ordered the three to appear in court on May 24 with their sureties to give “substance and show cause” for their absence.


The three are Mpheya Makina, Cassim Hassan and George Mang’anda.

The court has pointed out that what the three did was unacceptable because they had not shown “proper cause”.

Six members of the Tambala family –including parents and children— were severely burnt when the office was burnt by unknown people, an incident which led to the death of Selemani Tambala who was a guard, his wife and a son.


Among the suspects is former United Democratic Front publicity secretary Ken Ndanga, who was present in the court and remained calm throughout the proceedings.

The judge further explained that their absence has the possibility of inconveniencing the other 10 suspects and lawyers involved in the case.

The State told the court that it would apply for revocation of the bail if the three fail to give a convincing reason for their failure to attend court proceedings.

Oscar Taulo, who is Mang’anda’s legal counsel, said he prayed to the court to allow his client to explain the reason behind the absence.

“I explained to the court that perhaps the reason he has not come to the court might be beyond his control. So, he still needs to be given one last chance so that his bail should not be revoked,” Taulo said.

The High Court granted bail to the suspects on August 26 last year after they spent a month in custody.

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