Forum For National Development (FND) has asked government to honour the constitutional provisions for the former president Joyce Banda retirement benefits for her to return.
In a statement signed by FND Chairperson, Bright Kampaundi and National Coordinator, Fryson Chodzi, FND says the benefits for Banda are non-negotiable because they are provided for in the constitution.
“The State President took an oath to protect and uphold the constitution of the Republic of Malawi and our expectations are that he will do so without discrimination, vendetta and ill will.
“Furthermore her return is very crucial to the development of Malawi as so many issues will be dealt with including the issues of cashgate and also delegation to international forums,” reads part of the statement.
The forum also expressed sadness to note that recent media reports that the government has withdrawn the house that was meant for Banda in Area 10 and there has not been any assurance of reinstating of her security detail.
“The pension for former presidents is a constitutional issue since it is provided for in the constitution. We are of the opinion that such matters must not be at the mercy of the government to be choosy whether to honour or not.
“When government is failing to honour the constitutional right of the former president and provide assurance on her security and accommodation, the nation will be forced to believe that the government is only paying lip service on the return of the former president.
“We will be further compelled to believe the fears that Joyce Banda has raised about her security and safety which are serious concerns for a person of her stature,” FND statement reads.
Leader of People’s Party (PP) in Parliament Uladi Mussa told parliament that Banda “has been denied her salary, she has not been given vehicles, security has been removed from her.”
Banda has been in self imposed exile since she lost the 2014 presidential election to Peter Mutharika. She came third after Malawi Congress Party’s Lazarus Chakwera.
Mussa said Banda will only return after the government assures her of security, a return of her official vehicles and an official residence as provided for in the Republican Constitution.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :