A State witness has said former United Democratic Front (UDF) spokesperson Ken Ndanga was part of a gang called Kattar, which bombed Area 24 UTM Party offices in Lilongwe in April 2020.
Three members of the Tambala family died following the incident which happened on April 5 2020.
The State’s second witness in the case, Hamilton Bester, told the High Court of Malawi in Lilongwe on Tuesday that Ndanga coordinated meetings and all plans leading to the arson.
Bester, who is the block leader of Kaphiri location in Area 36 where the planning meetings allegedly took place, said the hired gang comprised 20 members. He alleged that Ndanga attended two meetings.
“He [Ndanga] told them to recruit courageous and strong youth,” said the witness.
Bester was initially arrested together with other accused persons but his charges were dropped and was roped in as State witness, having confessed that he was a member of the gang who did not take part in this tragic operation.
“I personally dropped off Jafali Selemane [one of the suspects] at the Area 24 UTM offices, but I was not part of the operation,” he added.
During cross-examination, Bester maintained that it was the third accused, George Mang’anda, who torched the office. He said Mang’anda attended one of the meetings where they conspired to carry out the attack and he was directing everything.
The first witness, William Banda, also took to the dock to testify, but his testimony was cut short presiding judge Annabel Mntalimanja.
The judge adjourned hearing to today when the State will continue parading witnesses.
Apart from Ndanga, other suspects are Selemane, Mang’anda, Steven Juma, Mkina Mkweya, Alimu Kalua and Azaki Anani. They are all answering murder charges.
The court on Monday discharged four people, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) director of youth Dyton Mussa and three others from the case.
The UTM Party office was petrol-bombed prior to the June 23 Fresh Presidential Election.
Security guard Selemani Tambala, his wife Ayiles and son Shukuran, who were living within the office premises, died at Kamuzu Central Hospital in Lilongwe while receiving treatment for severe burns incurred in the fire.
After the fres presidential election and change of government from DPP, which had partnered UDF in the election, to Tonse Alliance administration, police arrested Ndanga and others in connection with the death of the three family members and office arson.