The High Court in Lilongwe has granted bail to United Democratic Front (UDF) publicity secretary Ken Ndanga and 11 others who were charged with murder of Tambala family members.
The 12 are suspected to have been behind the torching of a UTM Party office at Area 24 in Lilongwe, which led to the loss of three lives.
Ndanga and the others have been in custody for about a month. The court said it had granted bail to the suspects after the State failed to prove that granting them bail would not be in the interest of justice.
Ndanga’s lawyer Innocent Kubwalo said the 12 were granted bail by Judge Ivy Kamanga on Tuesday.
He said: “Bail was sought because in the first place the applicants have the right to bail. There is also no client who will evade trial if bail is granted. The clients will be there for trial.”
However, the suspects are yet to be released as they will have to file sworn statements regarding what they do, their property, where they will be staying after their bail release and other issues about their lives.
The sworn statements will have to be made within three days from the day the ruling was made.
Directorate of Public Prosecutions spokesperson Pirirani Masanjala said the sworn statements will be assessed first before the conditions for bail can be made. The State will need to scrutinise the statements.
After filing the sworn statements, the court is expected to give the bail conditions on September 4 2020.
The UTM Party office was petrol-bombed prior to the June 23 Fresh Presidential Election.
A guard, Selemani Tambala, his wife Ayiles and son Shukuran, who were living within the office premises, died at Kamuzu Central Hospital while receiving treatment for severe burns incurred in the fire.
After the presidential election and change of government from Democratic Progressive Party—which had partnered UDF in the election—to Tonse Alliance government, police arrested Ndanga and others in connection with the death of the three family members and the office arson.
Various stakeholders demanded justice for the Tambala family and the stakeholders are interested in how the case will end.