Ayiles Tambala and her 11-year-old son Shukuran, two members of the family that was petrol-bombed as they slept in a UTM Party office in Lilongwe on Monday night, were buried next to each other yesterday.
After admission to the high dependence unit at Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH), Shukuran died late Tuesday afternoon. His mother followed suit early yesterday.
Bed-ridden head of the family Seleman Tambala and his other four children could not witness the twin burials yesterday because they were still recuperating from severe burns at the hospital.
The Tambala family lived in the backroom of the UTM Party Lilongwe District office reportedly for free. Selemani worked as a security guard at the office premises.
It is said that around midnight on Monday, unidentified assailants dislodged tyres and placed them around the UTM office before setting them alight with a petrol bomb.
Some neighbours saw Ayiles darting in and out of the inferno, in desperate efforts to rescue her five children, aged between three and 13.
Right from KCH mortuary yesterday, the sight of the two side-by-side Janaza carriers of the family members evoked wailing and anger among thousands of shocked sympathisers.
The ceremony at Area 24, against the backdrop of the torched UTM Party office, was attended by the country’s estranged Vice-President Saulos Chilima—who is also UTM Party president—and Malawi Congress Party (MCP) president Lazarus Chakwera.
MCP Lilongwe South East legislator Nancy Tembo described the death of the two as a shocking and unprecedented injustice in the area which enjoys peace despite their belonging to different parties.
She said: “The people who carried out this attack hate justice. They exist to kill and steal. We are angry because the woman we are burying today was needy ,but bravely fended for her family. May the arsonists themselves meet tragic ends.”
Chilima and Chakwera were visibly emotional as chiefs and other local leaders gave their eulogies which pointed out that the poor couple depended on small-scale businesses.
Chakwera, who is leader of the Tonse Alliance, condemned those who torched the office while people slept inside. He called for the police to investigate the incident and ensure that the perpetrators face the law.
He said: “In this country, people are suffering and they are dying because of a lack of government care and concern. Our hospitals have turned out to be places to which people go to with little hope of recovering.”
In his remarks, Chilima alleged that his party’s intelligence shows that the violence is sponsored one.
The Tonse Alliance contributed over K2 million to support the bereaved family.
Earlier, the two leaders attended a breakfast Thanksgiving prayers against the increasing violence in the country. They said they needed the prayers as they launch a campaign to woo people across the country to vote for them during the July 2 election.