Political tongue twisting on JB’s forgotten personal effects ‘ unnecessary’

A household Manager at Kamuzu Palace during the reign of former President Joyce Banda has laughed off insinuations by Presidential Spokesperson, Frederick Ndala,who suggests the former Head of State wants “to search for personal effects” left behind at State House

She says whether it is serving a heinous agenda or plain thickness in reasoning, it seems some people do not tire in churning out gibberish to the public.

The Householda Manager  said  the  tongue twisting by State House officials about Banda’s request to collect her belongings from presidential residences is unnecessary.

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“The right way of putting it is ‘to collect’. It is also inappropriate for State House to suggest that the matter is coming up now, when it is a protracted one, with State House Internal Auditor, Robert Malemia, continually playing ‘hide and seek’ after authorities tasked him to oversee and facilitate the ‘collection’ long time ago,” she told Nyasa Times in a telephone interview from Lilongwe on Monday.

Media reports indicate that the former President, through former Director of Household, Cecelia Kumpukwe, had written the Acting Chief Secretary to Government, Willie Samute, to facilitate the collection of “one container at Sanjika Palace containing assorted medical equipment, assorted personal items like linen and various family collections from Kamuzu Palace”.

Ndala is quoted by The Daily Times as trivializing the matter, insinuating the former President and her staff may be up to no good.

“I need to consult with the Director of State Residences (Peter Mukhito) on whether the said items were found at the time President Peter Mutharika was moving in. It is almost three months since they vacated State House. It would be inappropriate to grant them access to State House for purposes of searching for the personal effects,” Ndala is quoted as having reacted to Kumpukwe’s letter, dated August 12, 2014.

The Household Manager explained that when the former President was “hurriedly evicted from State House”, she was tasked with the responsibility to ensure that all ‘personal items’ belonging to the former Head of State were identified and collected.

“I managed to collect some personal items and effects belonging to the former President using my own car, as State House seemed reluctant to provide transport. But when the new Head of State came in (at Kamuzu Palace), it became necessary to involve the Guard Commander (Duncan Mwapasa) as the issue had now become a security one,” She explained, adding that Mwapasa was “seemingly cooperative and understanding” and advised her to deal with Malemia, whom he had assigned to facilitate the collection of the items.

“A period of over two months has now elapsed, Malemia is not picking my phone calls,” she said, wondering why a small issue like collection of personal items should take this long.

Public Relations Officer for the former President, Andekuche Chanthunya, said in a separate interview State House officials, like Malemia and Ndala, must not look at every issue to do with the former President through politics.

“Leaking confidential communication between the Office of the Former President and Government and engaging in a cat-and-mouse chase with her over her personal belongings do not amount to excellent on-the-job performance,” said Chanthunya.

Samute  has since said the former president “must not get worried” as a unit specifically meant to deal with such issues will look into the matter and address the issues being requested accordingly.

“She will be allowed to get that which rightfully belongs to her,” said Samute.

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