Court grants bail to DPP’s Ngalande in pangas case

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional director of youth (South) Lewis Ngalande, who was arrested in connection with DPP cadets who wielded pangas on the eve of last year’s July 20 anti-government demonstration,  was granted bail for the Blantyre Magistrate Court on Wednesday.

Ngalande was arrested on Monday and  faces counts of intimidation, possessing of offensive weapons and conduct likely to cause breach of peace as well as obstruction of traffic.

On July 19 2011, DPP Youth Cadets in the party’s branded pick-up vehicles brandished pangas on the streets of Blantyre, warning to deal with then president Bingu wa Mutharika’s critics.

Ngalande: On bail. Photo credit Times Group

The panga wielding thugs  were singing their war chants ‘Onyoza Bingu lero sagona timpweteka!’ (Anyone despising Bingu will not sleep today, we will hurt him)!

The court accepted the bail application by Ngalande  and released him with a bond of K30,000 cash and gave him a condition to report to Police every Wednesday.

More nabbed

According to national police spokesperson Dave Chingwalu, apart from Ngalande,  Police  have arrested five more suspects in the matter.

DPP spokesperson Nicholas Dausi disclosed the names of its members who were arrested . They  include Robert Banda, Pilirani Mzonga, Doya Makondetsa and  Charles Yotamu.

Noel Masangwi, DPP regional governor (South) , is on record to have confessed that the panga-wielding youth were DPP cadres.

Masangwi told the Presidential Commission of Inquiry into the July 20 events  that the youth were meeting at the DPP regional offices in Sunnyside and took the pangas belonging to security guards at the premises but that the party region office keep their machetes.

Ngalande- who is reported to have masterminded a lot of atrocities during the DPP regime – will also face charges for the assault of Thyolo North parliamentarian Anita Kalinde .

Kalinde was assaulted at a public function where late President Mutharika was present.

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