Malawi’s Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture, Kondwani Nankhumwa has asked President Peter Mutharika to commission special investigation over the death of his elder brother, the former president Bingu wa Mutharika claiming he didn’t die a natural death but was rather killed by immediate past president Joyce Banda.
Nankhumwa made the shocking remarks during the commemoration of Bingu wa Mutharika at Ndata farm in Malawi’s southern district of Thyolo.
It was clear in the tonne of the government spokesman that he was hinting for a politically inspired arrest of Banda with a charge of murder.
Banda, who is outside the country, returns later this month to Malawi.
Bingu wa Mutharika died at age of 78 after he suffered a cardiac arrest on April 5, 2012 when he was having an audience with former DPP legislator Agnes Penemulungu. He was rushed to hospital in Lilongwe after collapsing but was dead on arrival.
Late Mutharika was reportedly to have a long illness after his wife died of cancer.
But Nankhumwa claimed to be in possession of a document called the ‘JB Project,’ purportedly by Banda which outlined how she was to take over government by means of killing Bingu.
Nankhumwa produced a copy of the defunct DPP run newspaper “The Eye Witness” of 11th October, 2011 which carried a story stating that Bingu Wa Mutharika was not to reach 2014 saying that he would by the time be dead if information contained in the “JB Project” document was anything to go by.
“We still think someone was behind that death because the former first lady told us that he had woken up just alright that morning, he even had a gym session before he went to his office attending to attend to visitors when it happened,” he added holding the newspaper article.
“Mr President let me take this opportunity to ask you that while you are still ruling this country, assist us to call these people and explain why they killed Bingu wa Mutharika,” said Nankhumwa.
“I ask you the President to arrest those who were behind the JB Project so they should explain who killed Bingu,” said Nankhumwa adding that “even if Dr Bakili Muluzi was part of the JB project, he must be brought to book.”
Muluzi the former president, who handpicked Bingu for presidency, attended the function which was also attended by former Zambian president Rupiah Banda, former opposition leader John Tembo, former vice president Khumbo Kachali, Peoples Party Vice President Brown Mpinganjira.
“The author of that project document will give the nation answers regarding to what exactly killed Bingu, as his death was due to unnatural causes,” he said.
Nankhumwa further warned the President against giving audience to some people, saying only those trusted ones should be allowed to meet him as he may also die suddenly like his brother.
The Information Minister urged Mutharika that if he needs company, the DPP cadets and the party women should be his first priority.
He asked members of the clergy to pray for this country so that the incumbent should also not die while in office.
In his remarks at the function, Mutharika did not comment on Nankhumwa’s claims.
Bingu wa Mutharika came to power in 2004 and presided over a seven-year boom – underpinned by foreign aid and favourable rains – that made Malawi one of the world’s fastest-growing economies.
But he was accused of mismanaging the economy and becoming increasingly autocratic.
He fell out with former colonial ruler Britain, which withdrew its direct aid, accusing the Malawian government of mishandling the economy and of failing to uphold human rights that led to tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions.
The cause of the row was a leaked diplomatic cable that accused Mutharika of being “autocratic and intolerant of criticism”.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :