The opposition People’s Party (PP) has maintained that immediate-past president Joyce Banda Joyce Banda, currently in self-imposed exile abroad, has a well-founded fear to face humiliation and persecution from President Peter Mutharika-led government if she returns to Malawi, a charge dismissed by Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu.
PP leader in the House Uladi Mussa, said on Friday in Parliament that Banda has a well founded fear of facing persecution is she return to Malawi as ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has an appetite to attempt on her life.
Mussa, who is also Salima South MP (PP), said government is persecuting Joyce Banda partly by not giving her full pension dues, denying her a retirement home and by issuing a warrant of arrest that, he claimed, is awaiting the former first woman president in the country.
Lilongwe South member of Parliament (MP) Peter Dimba (Malawi Congress Party-MCP) has ealier said Malawi is emerging as a specialist in dragging to court virtually all former presidents and other senior leaders.
But in his comments after the National Assembly passed the Courts (Amendment) Bill, Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu said politicians should face the consequences of their criminal activities without regarding that as political persecution.
“When a crime has been committed (by a politician, or anyone else), we should allow the justice system to take its full course,” Tembenu said.
Banda has been travelling around the globe undertaking international assignments for her charity foundation.
However, government has been calling her to come home , branding her as a fugitive and h as been trying to implicate her in Cashgate—the systematic looting of public funds at Capital Hill by civil servants, politically aligned businesspeople and others that unravelled in September 2013 when JB was president of Malawi.
Tembenu said Banda is free to return home from abroad.
Retired chief justice Richard Banda is on record to have penned a letter bringing to the attention of the international community and donors attempts by the DPP government to victimise his wife, former president Joyce Banda (JB) for political reasons.
“Malawians remember very well that when Her Excellency Joyce Banda was Vice-President, the DPP government, under the late President Bingu wa Mutharika, withdrew part of her security detail. A few days after the withdrawal of security, in November 2010, the Vice-President’s official vehicle…was hit on the side she sat at Kanengo as she returned from Kamuzu International Airport. Luckily, she survived because she had used a different vehicle,” former chief justice wrote.
He said his family is “ grossly concerned” that JB’s own life “might be in danger.”
Banda also points to an allegation President Peter Mutharika made at Maula Prison that the former president had planned to kill him when he was arrested on alleged coup plot charges in March 2013. Without substantiating his claim, Mutharika said fake doctors had been hired to poison him while in police custody and that he was shown sworn affidavits of the alleged fake doctors.
In the letter to the international community, Banda makes much of a string of outbursts by minister of local government Kondwani Nankhumwa, who is on record as saying CCTV footage was available to substantiate claims by cashgate-convict Oswald Lutepo, showing the latter handing over cash to JB.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :