Mzuzu based politician Harry Mkandawire and Reverend Mezuwa Banda of the CCAP Synod of Livingstonia have been subpoenaed to testify before the Presidential Commission of Inquiry on anti-government protests in July which claimed almost 19 lives, following Police testimony that the duo were part of the master minders of the demonstrations.
Northern Region Police Operations Officer, Isaac Maluwa, in his testimony on Monday reiterated several times that Mkandawire, Rev Mezuwa Banda, Loveness Gondwe and Yeremiah Chihana were responsible for the deaths, looting and arson that happened in Mzuzu.
Banda and Mkandawire were initially not part of the 41 people expected to appear before the Inquiry but in a revised list released on Tuesday, the two were included.
Mkandawire is expected to take the stand at 9am with Banda taking the stand 30 minutes later.
The Commission, which is sitting in Mzuzu, is getting testimonies from the public on what transpired during that day, specifically trying to find out what lead to the looting and arson and the subsequent death of nine people.
The Commission will be in Karonga next week.
Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Maluwa claimed the quartet high jacked the function at Katoto Freedom Park, where people were initially expected to start marching.
“I saw Mkandawire addressing the marchers while he was on top of a vehicle and after that people started chanting [Bingu wa Mutharika]Achoke! Achoke! Achoke! And they had a Coffin. This was political and the presence of the coffin meant the people wanted the President dead and were calling for regime change,” Maluwa said.
But Reverend Banda on Monday denied the allegations saying the Police were implicating him on instructions from their Commander-in-Chief President Mutharika.
“I only went there to see what was happening and later on people asked me to prayed for them which I did and left there after,” he said.
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