Graft busting body, the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) has refused to be drawn to comment on whether former president Joyce Banda would be arrested on arrival on corruption charges to do with Mudzi Transformation Trust.
ACB spokesperson Egritta Ndala said although investigations on her alleged receipt of K7 billion from an oil drilling firm are still going, people should not mix up issues; her coming back to Malawi after a self imposed four year exile and the corruption charges she is to face.
“We will not be drawn to comment, these are two different issues,” said Ndala.
The five-year project, which started in 2013, sought to build houses for vulnerable people with a target of 20 000 villages nationwide. However, just over 500 houses were built at the end of Banda’s term in May 2014.
The ACB investigation is in relation to donations companies exploring for oil on Lake Malawi made to the trust, among them drugs, medical supplies and maize.
It is reported that the investigation is on donated drugs and medical supplies worth over $1 million (about K730 million) handed over to Banda at Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe in March 2014.
In February 2014, the Khalifa Bin Zayed Foundation of United Arab Emirates also donated 13 500 metric tonnes of maize which Banda directed should be handled through Mudzi Transformation Trust. Parliamentary candidates for Banda’s People’s Party (PP) were tasked with the job of identifying beneficiaries.
The donations were allegedly part of the corporate social responsibility component of the licences awarded to the companies, but these were misused.
Mudzi Transformation Trust was established through the Trustee Incorporation Act in 2013 but it has remained inactive since Banda went out of government in June 2014.
Banda launched the initiative in May 2013 at Nthoso Village, Traditional Authority Khongoni in Lilongwe.
A political analyst at Chancellor College Nandin Patel has since welcomed the coming back of Banda, saying it might level the political playing field.
“The political landscape might not be the same. Her arrival will define the current political landscape because she has her own base and her own constituency,” she said.
Patel said Banda’s political participation in the run up to the 2019 polls will increase political competition, which she said is good for the country.
Currently, the political landscape is dominated by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and the main opposition, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP).
Patel, however warned her against going into political alliances before looking into details.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :