Two officials of the ruling People’s Party (PP) in Mulanje, whose houses caught fire early September, returned to police last Thursday to change their statements, implicating the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).
The two women, who earlier told Mulanje Police Station that they had no clue on who might have set on fire their houses, told The Nation on September 4 that they were going to return to police to change an earlier statement and implicate DPP.
Mulanje Police Station criminal investigative officer Yendani Mazalo said the two women, who did not link the incidents to politics when they were first recorded statements, returned to police on Thursday in company of other ruling PP officials.
Mazalo said: “They said they now know who torched their houses and wanted the statements retaken. They said members of the opposition DPP did it and they mentioned a woman.
“But when I travelled there on Friday, the victims changed the statement again, saying Village Head (VG) Sapuwa knew people who did it. However, when I approached the VH, he said he knew nothing and no one ever approached him to discuss the issue.”
Other sources at Mulanje Police said some PP officials, led by Minister of Irrigation and Water Development Brown Mpinganjira, were a force behind the change of statements by the two women.
The sources said the women, Pilirani Chipembere and Alice Julio, admitted during interviews with police that a senior PP official advised them to report to police to give a fresh statement.
But Mpinganjira in an interview yesterday denied ever engaging the women, arguing he had nothing to do with the matter.