As DPP regional youth director (South) Lewis Ngalande was walking to freedom on Wednesday after the Blantyre Magistrateâ€™s Court granted him bail, police pounced on two of his colleagues who witnessed the court proceedings.
The Nation crew witnessed the arrest of the two as they were trying to leave the court premises.
According to some police sources, the two are being linked to the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth cadets who are being charged alongside Ngalande. The group is being accused of possessing offensive weapons (pangas), causing breach of peace, intimidating residents and blocking traffic in Blantyre last July 19.
The two colleagues went to the court to give moral support to their colleague, but luck was not on their side as the police took advantage of their presence to effect the arrest. It was not immediately established if they were on the policeâ€™s wanted list in connection with the case.
Lawyer Kalekeni Kaphale, who is representing Ngalande, confirmed the arrest of the two. He said he was at the court at the time of the interview to apply for bail for the two, Yakubu Ambassador and Yusuf Julius.
Kaphale also later said the bail application failed and it will be done this Thursday.
Â Southern Region Police spokesperson Nicholas Gondwa referred the matter to Lilongwe-based National Police spokesperson Davie Chingwalu who declined to say anything, arguing the arrests are happening in Blantyre; hence, he is not well placed to comment.
Ngalande pleaded not guilty to two charges of threatening violence on July 19 last year during day time along the Masauko Chipembere Highway with an intent to harm the public by brandishing machetes and conducting oneself in a manner likely to cause breach of peace.
The State pleaded with the court not to release Ngalande, arguing investigations are still underway and asked for seven days to complete the same.
But one of Ngalandeâ€™s lawyers, Sheen Msusa, argued his client is on bail in a different case and he has not absconded or interfered with witnesses as feared by the State in the current case.
In his ruling, 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 conduct their investigations.
He said in any case, police should not have made any arrest before completing 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 the Southern Region Police headquarters every Wednesday.
He met the bail conditions and was released. Other five suspects arrested in connection with the same case were yet to be brought before the court.
This is Ngalandeâ€™s second arrest; he was first picked on May 19 2012 by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) for allegedly threatening ACB officers in Blantyre also last year.