Blantyre Magistrate Court has on Wednesday released on bail seven people who were arrested last week on suspicion of pelting stones at President Peter Mutharika’s motorcade in Blanyre squatter township of Ndirande.
The seven – Maloya Gulani, Jonathan William, McCloud Mulima, John Meleka, Daniel Kaole, Precious Zulu and Joseph Matchado – were separately arrested on Thursday when the incident happened and on Friday.
They damaged a window of a sweeping vehicle, the police vehicle with a siren which is always on the front of the presidential convoy, damaging one of its glasses and wounding a police officer.
Granting them bail, Blantyre Senior Resident Magistrate Ackia Mwanyongo said the suspects were not flight risk and that their offence was bailable.
Mwanyongo ordered them to surrender their travel documents and report to Police fortnightly.
The seven have been slapped with four counts, three charges of malicious damage to three vehicles contrary t Section 344 (1) of the Penal Code.
They also answer one charge of unlawful wounding contrary to Section 241 (1) A of the Penal Code.
The suspects – being represented by lawyer Wester Kossam – have pleaded not guilty to the charges.
There was no mention of stoning official presidential motorcade but governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vehicles in the Presidential Convoy.
There were jubilations from relatives and some opposition party supporters at the court as the suspects were being released on bail amid heavy police presence with more than 30 armed police officers.