A document titled ‘JB Project’ which Malawi Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture Kondwani Nankhumwa cited to call upon President Peter Mutharika to commission a special inquiry 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, shows it was signed by little known Edgar Saukila and indicated the ‘JB Project’ wanted to block Peter Mutharika from inheriting power and Joyce Banda not to succeed Bingu.
Nankhumwa, who is also official government spokesperson, produced a copy of his defunct newspaper publication “The Eye Witness” of 11th October, 2011 which carried an article titled ‘Bingu to die before 2014’ quoted the said document.
The document obtained by Nyasa Times shows the ‘JB Project’ wanted to “intensify efforts that neither Peter Mutharika nor Joyce Banda should take over the presidency.”
The ‘JB Project’, according to the document wanted to prepare their preferred candidate to take over after Bingu’s death other than Peter Mutharika or Joyce Banda.
But there were some discrepancies in the document. The ‘Eye Witness’ newspaper quoted the document in an article of October 11, 2011. It is dated 20 August, 2011 and also talks of the meeting of 20 August 2014.
In a telephone interview with Nankhumwa, he confirmed that is the said document he was referring to when he spoke at Ndata Farm in Thyolo where hundreds of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) sympathisers led by President Peter Mutharika, senior party and government officials gathered for a memorial service of the party’s founder.
“Yes you have read to me the document I was referring to,” said Nankhumwa.
Nankhumwa said he does not know who were in “JB Project”, saying that is the reason he wants an investigations to find out those who were behind the ‘JB Project’ so they should explain who killed Bingu.
He said the document clearly shows there was a plot to terminate the life of Bingu and that ‘JB Project’ was positioning their preferred successor other than Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika.
“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,” insisted Nankhumwa.
Meanwhile, ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary general Ecklen Kudontoni has attached his weight behind Nankhumwa’s call for fresh probe on Bingu’s death.
Kudontoni said a Commission of Inquiry constituted in June 2012 to investigate circumstances surrounding the death of Bingu wa Mutharika chaired by retired Supreme Court judge Elton Singini, left a lot to be desired.
The ruling party is arguing that there was no “certification of death” for Bingu at Kamuzu Central Hospital and that the Bingu inquiry did not include final signed post-mortem result from South Africa.
There also arguments that some hospital staff at KCH were busy taking phone pictures of Bingu in the ICU and sending them to their political masters instead of attending to him.
Nankhumwa said he and other DPP members strongly believe “someone was behind Bingu’s death” and that his death was not caused by natural causes.
The Minister was quoted saying at Ndata: “I ask you the President to arrest those who were behind the JB Project so they should explain who killed Bingu,” adding that “even if Dr Bakili Muluzi was part of the JB project, he must be brought to book.”
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 :