Joyce Banda ‘trial in the media’: Malawi Law Society faults govt

The Malawi Law Society (MLS) has said former president Joyce Banda is being tried in the media and in the court of public opinion, on the infamous looting of public resources—a scandal christened as Cashgate – despite no formal charges.

Joyce Banda: Being tired in the media, says Malawi Law Society

Joyce Banda: Being tired in the media, says Malawi Law Society

The Law Society through its president John Suzi-Banda faulted government for ‘prosecution through the media’ saying the State has a legal authority to investigate and prosecute.

Government has been asked to let allow a due process of the law take place other than political insipiration.

Suzi-Banda comments in The Nation was in reaction to a statement by government titled ‘Government Response on ‘JB blasts APM, DPP’ dated December 31 2015 signed by Information Minister Jappie Mhango.

Government was responding to Banda’s statement in which she accused the Peter Mutharika’s administration of deliberately ignoring calls from donors to institute thorough and speedy investigations into the alleged K577 billion scam.

MLS’s president told the newspaper that the state was diluting the seriousness of the matter by taking it to the media.

“As MLS, we cannot prescribe how the former president [Joyce Banda] should respond to the allegations made against her. Whether what she is doing by responding through the same channel is right or wrong remains at the discretion of her lawyers,” the paper quoted MLS president as saying.

“ But what we see as a problem is that the State has a legal authority to investigate and prosecute. Unfortunately, the government has so far abrogated this right,” he said.

In the government statement, Minister of Information claims the former president is implicated by Cashgate convict and former Principal Secretary for Tourism Treza Senzani.

“The effects of Cashgate are still being felt everywhere in the lives of Malawians. Many sectors such as health and education are currently struggling. Therefore, every Malawian expected the State to investigate the matter and prosecute if they have enough evidence. But releasing statements is not what Malawians hired them for.

“If anything, it should not be the Ministry of Information getting involved in these issues. Let the relevant agencies such as the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) and office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) handle it,” said Suzi-Banda as quoted by The Nation.

Banda said in her statement that she received information from several serving senior civil servants that they are being pressurized by the DPP government to implicate her and former members of her cabinet in cashgate “in the same manner Mrs. Senzani has done.”

Senzani implicates former minister of information Brown Mpinganjira and former PP official Hophmally Makande to have been key players in the plot to siphon money out of the State coffers for the political campaign.

She alleges that former budget director Paul Mphwiyo was at the centre of the scheme which Senzani participated in alongside convicted Leonard Kalonga.

Senzani alleges that Kalonga claimed that Mphwiyo would call Makande and Mpinganjira and put their phone calls on loudspeaker to assure those involved that the move was sanctioned at “a higher level.”

But Banda said the allegations are both “confusing and contradictory.”

Banda continued to state: “ Malawians may wish to appreciate the fact that Mrs. Senzani is the only PS who was implicated in cashgate; tried, convicted and sentenced. If it were a cabinet decision to steal from all ministries, why were the other PSs not involved?”

In the statement, Banda made an “interesting observation” that according to investigations, cashgate occurred between April and August 2013 and that prior to that, “we have evidence that there was another cashgate of MK577 billion theft of public money between 2009 and 2012 that donors and Malawians are pressing for speedy investigation.”

She added: “ Mrs. Senzani’s mansion, which has also been a subject of cashgate investigations, was not built between April and August 2013. Looking at her income as PS, she could not have accumulated such wealth to build the said mansion. After all, she had been PS for a few months. Is it wrong therefore to suggest that the construction of that mansion in Area 36 in Lilongwe was financed by money from the MK577 billion scandal that happened during the late President Bingu wa Mutharika and DPP reign?

“ There must be a stubborn link between the MK577 billion scandal of 2009 and 2012 and the MK20 billion cashgate of 2013. This is why I insist a forensic audit into the MK577 billion must take place as a matter of urgency, especially because both incidences happened within the five-year term of President Bingu wa Mutharika, which I completed when he died in 2012.”

Banda, who currently lives outside Malawi in self -imposed exile, has always insisted of her innocence and claimed in the statement that there are regime “attempts” to tarnish her name and legacy.

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49 thoughts on “Joyce Banda ‘trial in the media’: Malawi Law Society faults govt”

  1. Benjones says:

    ACB SHOULD INVESTIGATE MRA TOP BOSSES THEY MAKE A LOT OF MONEY OUT OF THESE SO CALLED BUSINESS COMMUNITY. I KNOW OF ONE WHO GOT 100 MILLION TO HELP INVADE TAX AND DUTY OF 25 CONTAINERS.

  2. Nkhombokombo says:

    Fellow Malawians, it is folly of us to be arguing in the Media about who is who in these Cashgate cases. Much as we have a Sovereign State, the Govt has the power to bring back JB home from wherever she is and answer to these allegations. These are not laughing matters, people!. People are suffering in this Country partly due to these cases and may be also from this experimental type of Governance we are facing now. Even a mad or insane person if provoked, he/she will react. Thus nature, true!, whether in Court or Media as the case is now, somebody must react. We shouldn’t blame the LSM because they have given their reaction, they have done so because they have been mentioned. The Govt, through their Spokesperson should have responsibly reacted not in a judgemental manner. We all make mistakes in one way or another but we should not judge for ourselves before the Courts, leave that to the Courts to judge.For us, we may just raise tempers of the supporting sides thereby causing unnecessary chaos in the Country. Do not forget that both sides have supporting interests. Mrs Senzani and Mr Kalonga with the others have been proved guilty by the Courts and so too should be the case with JB if she really was the Big fish behind the Cashgate. Let the regal and legitimate bodies deal with such cases. Otherwise most of us herein are just making noise and making fools of ourselves. The Judicial Dept is there to settle such matters without favour or interest.

  3. kunena mosapsyatila says:

    Lazaro you are one of the pathetic individuals with cheap English being used by DPP thugs. From your statements, you are a layman in Law void of tangible arguments. Instead of commenting positively, you have exhausted your energy by castigating lawyers (mwaichimunthu/personal).

    By the way it seems you are not well conversant with good and academically sound lawyers. Ask the guys who have ever attended legals about the likes of Thoko Ngwira, Ralf himself and a good number of boys who handle high profile cases at a low profile. After all, its waste of time to counter argue with a no body like you.

  4. charlie hebdo says:

    Simenesi ndi sa usilu.mukusiwana nokanoka amene munaba ndalama simenesi.kuno wandu akufa musipatala chifukwa cha inu….sambi simenesi

  5. Angoni apaphata says:

    Ngati pa dziko lapansi kuli ma lawyer opanda nzeru ndiye ku Malawi. Ma judge ndi ma magistrates ndiye dzidzete dzotheratu. Pali nzeru apa? Lawyer wina ndi uyu tikuti president uyu…. Milandu imakhala mpaka zaka migolo osatha? Treason ya chilumpha ili pati?

  6. Charles Tunthuwa says:

    Please the government needs to start with the k577 billion and not k20 billion if they are fair enough. All we see is a matter of trying to let J b down its funny and stupid politics existing in Malawi. We need transformation now by young leaders.

  7. chamba eti says:

    Za uchisiru

  8. levelheaded says:

    Thumbs up MLS. We have had enough of this from both sides.

  9. BigMan says:

    Much ado about nothing.

  10. Adrian says:

    Let her be tried in media as she has chosen that. If clean why so many press statements defending oneself. Why not just come to prove innocence? Its not Law society speaking here, its one JB sympathizer, kkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  11. gober says:

    Surely, it should not have been ministry of information releasing updates on prosecutions or arrests on cashgate related cases. Kodi bomali likuyendetsedwa ndi mbatama zokhazokha eti? Ndiye mwazilowesa ndaletu zinthuzi. Kupusa eti?

  12. Mapuya says:

    Joe Suzi you are spot on. Government abuse of its excessive power must be checked at all costs. The truth of the matter is our minister of information suffers from hipertension and always want to prove his capability when he is just a volleyball referee

  13. Banda has spoken several times on issues sorroundi her involvement in cashgate the govt has remained silent. Now the connection which Banda has done with her issues to APM and govt gives room for answering. Akapandanso kuyankha muyamba kuti boma palibe yemwe akuyendetsa kuli zii ngati kulibe president

  14. Mapwiya says:

    i totally agree with Malawi Law Society. its sad that JB is not yet charged and convicted by the court of law. But government is busy releasing press statements vilifying JB. The constitution of Malawi says , ” a suspect is presumed innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law”. So going by this story I understand that she is not yet charged nor convicted of Cashgate by it is only allegations.

    Please don’t prejudice this case leave it to ACB and the courts. By the way Malawians and donors are anxiously waiting for the K557 billion forensic audit results.

  15. musisipala says:

    MLS dont blame the media when you are failing to complete cases but always demanding salary increase. Leave the media alone. JB admitted in public that she knew the people who shot mphwiyo and that she received money stollen by her guys

  16. Be Good For The Goat To Push The Dog Eti. ACB,DPP And Attorney General Are Compiling Strong Defence Ready For Any Cashgate Convict Jb Inclusive. However,before Other Culprits Are Taken Prisoner, They May Wish To Blast Others And Use Any Available Scapegoat But The Arm Of The Law Is Too Long For Those Who May Wish To Scamper Away. YOU CAN FOOL SOME PEOPLE SOMETIMES BUT YOU CANT FOOL ALL THE PEOPLE ALL THE TIME. GOD BLESS MALAWI ITS INHABITANTS AND THE LEADERSHIP.

  17. Eugene says:

    577 BILLION

  18. Tengupenya says:

    MLS speaketh. Government Ministry of Information, what do you say. No fairy tales. Let the appropriate authorities investigate and prosecute or clear the suspects. Political barbs on this serious matter discredit the government of the day. Tardiness in completing administrative investigations like forensic audits discredits the government of the day and the national central audit agency. Constraining the release of forensic audit results to the legislature and the criminal investigations departments discredits the government of the day. Having paid for the contracts that were never delivered and failure to sue the authorities who authorized the payments and the contractors who received the payments for no work discredits the Treasury and the Government of the day. The public is watching…

  19. Rodrick Phiri says:

    Shame shame shame

  20. English Guru says:

    What else is new?

  21. Lhomwe 2 says:

    Dpp govt.want to confuse people,why not ACB do the job….

  22. chatonda says:

    Its true as many legal minds have already asked government to use its powers to bring JB back home and take her to court to prove her wrong or guilty. This is what Malawians and donors are expecting from the government and nothing less. Not blah blah in the media. Thew government will make JB more cleverer by planning how to defend herself for her theft.
    Bring the big fish in the net and let justice prevail afterwards.
    Malawians want their money and donors back and JB is a key for all this to happen if she is arrested and tried. Government will be seen to be serious in dealing with cashgate by all both locally and internationally.

  23. nthandalanda says:

    Tell them, Suzi Banda. These people are taking this as a political issue. This is our issue – the public. They have vast experienced law expertees at their disposal, why not use this resource to investigate and prosecute? We at PP feel victimized and persecuted. If you have evidence, why not come out open? In law, we don’t use what someone say in public as evidence. If Jappie has evidence, then extradite her and prosecute her.

  24. George Kamanga says:

    MLS don’t worst your precious time with these gangsters, monsters, robbers and murderers in DPP. Agaluwa asanduka achiwewe koopsa kwangosala kuti are mom we anafera Galu uma wamkulu (bingu).

    These dogs will never hearken to your advice because the souls who are suffering because of their evils in plundering money to save innocent Malawians souls in biting them on their backs till they vanish.

  25. Temwani Musopole says:

    She’s a liar! The 577 bn is from 2009 to December, 2014. It includes her time and 24 bn is separate… her own Mphwiyo scandal! What scares her from coming home is real and she knows it.

  26. Lazaro says:

    I have a question for Law Society: is having this emotional boy John Suzi-Banda the best decision you could do? Is this amateurish statement coming from the person at the helm of Law Society? This is why I stopped respecting Malawian lawyers long time ago. The law in Malawi is only respected because there are few competent ones like Anthony Kamanga, Mordecai Msisha, Patrice Nkhono, Alinane Kauka, Mary Kachale and her judge husband, and others. The others are bunch of incompetent womanising crooks. How can you say government is conducting trial in the media yet government is only responding to allegations by JB herself. Government has a duty to respond. Whatever Senzani and friends talked about JB is now public because they are in court records. The problem with Malawian lawyers is that they stop reading after passing year-end exams, the rest is drinking and womanising. Most of them don’t believe they would be where they are; they went to college with 3rd Choices after being rebuffed by their 1st and 2nd Choices in Econs, BCom, BSc, Pub etc. What they know is womaning and drinking instead of investing. That’s why they live pomp life but they die poor and stupid. They don’t sustain marriages. It’s shameful that most companies in Malawi are run by accountants, economists and marketers while lawyers are busy helping crooks to destroy this country.

  27. chikhadzula says:

    Why jb s nt coming back home and refute the alligation..

  28. bina says:

    What a huge sum of money 577billion then you are busy with 20billion hey Malawian be serious is it the hatrage or what?

  29. zimkambani says:

    The Media is not the court. Do not make a mockery of our Judicial system in Malawi. Do not use emotions in these matters but reason. Media do not perform roles that are not in uour jurisdiction. Know yor boundaries. Let us all pursue the course of justice. I rest my case

  30. ben phiri says:

    You are just wasting your time she will never be arrested,believe me.we love you Mum

  31. jabu says:

    Ahhh a suzi banda

  32. stephen says:

    ife a mcp tili phee. tiyeni nazoni

  33. Jang'ala says:

    Wakuba amathawa yekha. Wy are u still in self-exile? Come home mama the court is waiting for u. We want to hear the truth of cashgate

  34. Mai pepani,ukukhala….plot\hse nkunzunza Mai. Mlw law society ur comment reaction plausible. Think u!

  35. lackison says:

    Bingu stole more than Joyce . Even Peter stole. Mwanamveka even more. And u think of media prosecuting Joyce Banda. Bring her to court if u want. Don’t make noise for nothing

  36. Mashamase says:

    Now 2016 tikulankhula nkhani imodz imodzi tatopa nazo

  37. mpkm says:

    advice jb too and educate the citizens that we dont respond to court issues in the media. She shud com and defend herself here!

  38. Chipapwiche says:

    Quite interesting. JB must return home,simple. I hope MLS is aware that government’s statement on JB’s possible prosecution was in response to the allegations made by JB on Senzani’s claims. This is why it was the Ministry of Information responding as Government Spokesperson. Why is Banda hiding in the MK577bn by demanding a forensic audit and all sorts of things.. As much as Malawians want to know the truth about this,we also want to know if JB is clean on the MK20bn Cashgate during her tenure. All what she is saying is just to get public sympathy but we aren’t ready to offer one looking at what Malawi is going through after this infamous cashgate. Banda is also doing everything possible to ensure donors do not resume aid to Malawi. A forensic audit on MK577bn is not the only condition donors gave but JB keeps saying donors won’t resume aid if this is not done and she is happy that way! Its time JB returned to Malawi and feel what Malawians are going through as well as facing the law to prove her innocence.

  39. Cashgate occurs with each n every presdent. this z starting from kamudzu 2 peter. siuja munazikwezera malipiro.

  40. Beast Msonda says:

    Message to joyisi: Once again, Malawians are wiser than you think. We, Malawians, know the following facts about K577 billion audit report:
    1. Its period is between 2009 – 2014 and not 2009 – 2012. Do not insult Malawians’ memory.
    2. More than 94% of K577 billion was misappropriated between last half of 2012 and first half of 2014.
    3. We, Malawians, know that the most porous government we have ever had in Malawi is yours.
    4. K577 billion is also your cashgate.
    5. etc

  41. Even my 6 months old baby knows JB is on the run
    Runaway soldier….come back home and pay back the money

  42. Pat says:

    So instead of blasting tbe initial statement from Joyce Babda you are blasting a response. What type of lawyers and judges are you? JB ndamene anayamva kuti akukhala kunja chifukwa choopa kumangidwa through the media ndiye the concerned accused wayankha through the same channel walakwitsa. Weak minded intelletuals!!!

  43. noreply says:

    Ok.

  44. patrick says:

    Malawi Law Society yatani kodi? Chikomere mbuzi kugunda galu? Why is it not faulting JB for using the same media to talk about government for the same matter?
    How can you back someone refusing 10 houses as unsuitable? Is this reasonable. Let her come back and prove her innocence. Pali chilungamo palibe mantha. I start to question credibility of this so called law society.

  45. mapwevupwevu says:

    I we John Suzi Banda ukubakila amako a Joyce Banda eti! How can we try her thru the courts when she ran away?

    Tithana nawe!

  46. Koma ????? says:

    NO MATTER WHAT, THE TRUTH WILL OUT1

  47. Bullshit says:

    Thats what you get from government full of idiots. I would rather have a dictator Robert Mugabe than what we Malawians have at the moment.

  48. swiswiri mbewa says:

    Much as JB is entitled to respond to the smear campaign by the DPP regime in connecting her to the K24b cash gate of April to September 2013, she can do herself great favour to return and defend her innocence. Her media counter fights are succeeding in exposing her to potential prosecution evidence. The DPP knows the damage it is wrecking on JB’s mandate and integrity via mass media (MBC). Malawians are not fools just as donors on the politicization of cash gate investigations by Peter Muntharika’s government.

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