Malawi government has swiftly responded to claims by former president Joyce Banda that her much anticipated return to Malawi has been delayed due to serious security concerns as she was not provided with an official house and security detail, among other things.
Banda was scheduled to arrive in Malawi on Tuesday 2nd November, 2015 through Chileka Airport in Blantyre around mid-day on a South African Airways flight number SA3172.
Banda’s spokesperson, Andekunye Chanthunya said the former Head of State would delay her return as government was failing to provide a secure and decent house in a secure locality.
Chanthunya accused government for withdrawing a house that Banda had indentified in August this year.
“The house was indeed identified. However, one week ago, the Malawi Government advised Her Excellency’s office that the house is no longer available,” Chanthunya said in a statement released Thursday morning.
But government spokesperson and Minister of Information, Jappie Mhango has dismissed Chanthunya’s claims, saying Banda’s relatives were the ones that rejected the house government had allocated to the former President.
“As am speaking now government officers are in the process of identifying another house for her. It was her relatives who rejected the first house that was indentified and the other one they opted was already occupied,” explained Mhango.
Mhango then blushed off claims that government was failing to provide Banda with her retirement benefits as stipulated in the Malawi Constitution, urging her to return home and start enjoying her
“How can we provide security to someone who is not in Malawi? I think we already explained as to why government decided to withdraw her security detail. She should come home and government will provide her the needed security detail,” explained Mhango.
On the issue of salary which Banda has not been paid for 17 months, Mhango said there were some formalities that require Banda to fulfil personally before she starts accessing her pay.
“For one to start getting salary they need to be included on the government payroll and that requires one to fill in forms which cannot be filled by anybody else. She has been the Head of State and she knows that; why is she always outside of Malawi and expect somebody
else to complete the required formalities that need her physical presence?” wondered Mhango.
Chanthunya argued that without the security detail, Banda’s life was in danger considering the lapse of the country’s security, adding she was once about to be assassinated in a road accident in 2010 while she was the country’s vice-president when her security detail was drastically reduced.
He said the decision to weaken Banda’s security detail this time round and attempts by the DPP administration to victimize her in various forms are reminiscent of the 2010 events.
“History may be repeating itself here”.
But Mhango was quick to assure Banda that she will be accorded enough security just like any other former Head of State.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :