Bingu promised me the presidency –JB

By Thom Chiumia, Nyasa Times

Malawi’s Vice President Joyce Banda (JB) says President Bingu wa Mutharika made a pledge that he was going to handover the presidency to her when he nominated her as running mate in 2009 elections.

Banda told Capital Radio that she was “hesitant” at first to accept the nomination of vice president because of the experience of the two former vice presidents Justin Malewezi and Dr Cassim Chilumpha, who broke ranks with Presidents Bakili Muluzi and Mutharika, later to be persecuted.

She however said the President persuaded her through retired Chief Justice Richard Banda, her husband, to take the nomination. He pledged not to persecute her and to ensure that she succeeds him.

Banda recalled that Mutharika told a public rally in her Zomba home that he was going to handover the torch of leadership to her.

Vice President Joyce Banda: Now People's Party leader

“Bingu promised people of Domasi (Zomba) that he will hand over power to me. It’s on record. And the whole nation was told,” said the Vice President who referred to Mutharika as her “mentor.”

Banda and Mutharika fell out soon after the May 2004 elections when some people in the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) started campaigning for the president’s brother, Education Minister Prof. Peter Mutharika, to replace him when he retires in 2014.

She was accused of eyeing the same job and was expelled from the DPP but she remains Vice-President.  Banda founded her own Peoples Party (PP).

“I have been favoured by God,” she said. “ I believe the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”

She said People’s Party want clean politics  where leaders should love the people and the people should love their leaders in helping to develop the nation.

“You fall in love with the people. They fall in love with you. It’s a love affair, “  she said.

Banda said she needed to exercise her right to participate in politics.

She said after the expulsion, she wanted to join the existing parties but was advised to form a new party.

“I did a survey- and people advised that I  should not join any party but form a new party.”

She said the symbol of PP is  key and open lock and a colour of orange.

“ We believe Malawians are heroes. We must unlock what has been locked,” she said.

She said Malawians “have fallen in love with us and we have fallen in love with Malawians.”

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