The Blantyre Magistrateâ€™s Court on Wednesday granted bail to opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth director Lewis Ngalande arrested for allegedly wielding machetes in the streets of Malawiâ€™s commercial city, Blantyre, last year.
Ngalande, who pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, is facing two charges; threatening violence on July 19 last year along the Masauko Chipembere Highway with intent to harm the public by blandishing machetes and conducting oneself in a manner likely to cause breach of peace.
The State on Tuesday pleaded with the court not to release Ngalande, arguing investigations were still underway and asked for seven days to complete the probe.
But Ngalandeâ€™s lawyer, Sheen Msusa, argued his client was on bail in a different case and he did not abscond or interfere with witnesses.
In his ruling on Wednesday, principal resident magistrate Innocent Nebi said police did not give convincing reasons to keep on detaining the accused.
Nebi said the incident the accused is implicated in happened in July last year and police had ample time to make investigations. He said in any case, police should not have made an arrest before completion of their investigations.
The magistrate granted Ngalande bail on grounds that he pays a cash bail bond of K30 000 (about $120), with two sureties on a non-cash bail bond of K100 000 (about $400) each. He was also asked to be reporting to Southern Region Police Station every Wednesday.
He met the bail conditions and was released.
Other suspects arrested in connection with the case are yet to be brought before the court.
The DPP youth on July 19 brought business to a standstill in Blantyre as they took to the streets aboard the partyâ€™s branded pick-up vehicles, brandishing the pangas in broad daylight.
This was Ngalandeâ€™s second arrest, the first being on May 19 by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for issuing threats at ACB officers in Blantyre last year.