Former president Joyce Banda has categorically denied allegations by the Malawi Government that since she left the country for overseas on June 29, 2014, had been meeting various people and attending several “fora” where she has made claims that President Peter Mutharika had barred her from attending state functions.
Banda through her Public Relations Officer, Andekuche Chanthunya dismissed the claims, saying she resumes official meetings on July 20, 2014, which shall include a number of ‘Speaking Engagements’ in the United States of America (USA) after a month-long rest from public activities.
Chanthunya, in a statement issued on Friday, July 18, 2014, refutes “in the strongest terms possible the unsubstantiated allegations made by the Malawi Government through a Press Statement issued on July 15, 2014”.
“The Office of Former President wishes to state, categorically, that there is no aorta of truth in the Press Statement. The Office of the Former President wishes to inform the nation that at no point has Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda complained about being not invited to public events,” states the PRO, challenging “anyone to bring evidence supporting the same”.
In the statement, the Office of the Former President reminds the nation that Banda left the country on a private trip when President Mutharika had been in office for four weeks and that the only state events that had taken place prior to the time the former Malawi leader left the country were the inauguration ceremony of President Mutharika and the President’s wedding.
“The former president’s office already informed the nation why Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda did not attend the inauguration ceremony. In respect of the wedding, the office of the former president wishes to inform the nation that Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda received the invitation for the wedding on Friday afternoon, June 20, 2014 while at her private home in Nkhata-Bay—a day before the wedding. For logistical reasons the Former President was unable to attend the wedding. Accordingly, Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda conveyed her apology to the Vice President Rt. Hon. Saulos Chilima who was the Chair of the wedding committee.
“In view of the above, the Former President wonders which functions she would be complaining about not being invited to as alleged,” the statement reads.
Finally, the office of former president commends President Mutharika administration’s commitment “to avoid politics of vengeance and retribution as contained in the Press Statement and the Office of Former President hopes this will not be mere political rhetoric”.