The Malawi Police Service (MPS) yesterday said they are investigating the petrol-bombing of a house belonging to Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) chairperson Timothy Mtambo.
National Police spokesperson James Kadadzera said in an interview yesterday they will arrest anyone found to have been involved in the incident that took place at around 2am in Area 49 in Lilongwe yesterday.
At a press briefing later, the HRDC leadership said it suspects three Cabinet ministers (names withheld) to have masterminded the plot and three operatives, connected to the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), to have effected the petrol-bombing.
But Kadadzera said once the complainants officially mention suspects in their caution statements, investigations will proceed and suspects may be arrested to face trial.
He said: “We received the report that [Mtambo’s] house was petrol-bombed. Our officers rushed to scene and found a VW Pollo vehicle burnt and damaged half way…
“We are still recording statements from those who were at the house. We are also appealing to neighbours and anybody else who might have information that may lead to the arrest of the suspects.”
During the press briefing, HRDC vice-chairperson Gift Trapence said thugs went to Mtambo’s house on a killing mission, adding that the petrol bombs they threw landed on a car which got half burnt.
According to him, thugs threw four petrol bombs into the house premises, with one thrown at the gate apparently with the objective of preventing Mtambo’s family from fleeing to safety.
The HRDC leaders hoped the police would arrest suspects by close of business yesterday.
But governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) spokesperson Nicholas Dausi expressed worry over the HRDC allegations against party officials yesterday, saying the party officials are clean from any act of violence.
He said: “As government, we are worried that what happened to him [Mtambo] is a criminal act. But there is no way the ruling party can be involved in such violence. We have been speaking against violence and we have been complaining about the same, so how can we do that?” Last week, unknown thugs, suspected to be DPP cadets, burned offices belonging to Malawi Congress Party (MCP) vice-president Sidik Mia at his Cold Storage company in Blantyre. In late August last year, HRDC offices were torched by unknown thugs who also injured a security guard in Lilongwe