Malawi government has asked former president Joyce Banda to consult the authorities on her external travels to avoid embarrassing the country, saying that her presence at the just ended United Nations General Assembly side meetings in US was an embarrassment to incumbent President Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led administration.
Banda attended the side meetings of the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly, bumping into unsuspecting government officials.
Chaponda and human rights activist Billy Mayaya noted that Banda’s presence embarrassed the country at the UN side meetings.
“We don’t want to be misunderstood that we are jittery about former President Banda’s travels; our fears are simply that if she continues to avoid engaging with her successor, the country will continue to face the embarrassment of holding different views and positions on issues of national concern,” said Chaponda as quoted by The Nation.
According to the Foreign Affairs Minister, if the former president had consulted Mutharika, there would not have been need for government to send its representatives to the UN side meetings she was attending.
“She would have been the President’s and government’s envoy. This is what happens in all the civilised countries,” he added.
Former president’s spokesman Andekuche Chanthunya trashed Chaponda, saying there is no evidence to claim that Banda’s presence at the UN side meetings were an embarrassment to the Malawi government.
Chanthunya said former president Banda was not invited to the UN side meetings as a representative of government, but as a citizen of a member State and as founder of the Joyce Banda Foundation International.
“He should give us specific places where government was ashamed because of the former president and the reasons for the embarrassment,” argued Chanthunya.
“She didn’t have to scramble for international attention. The fact that she was actually invited to these meetings for the various roles she played showed that she is a global figure, she has actually been that for a very long time. The sooner government starts understanding that the better because they can then start concentrating on running government affairs than picking fights with a global icon,” added Chanthunya.
Apart from Banda, at the UN side meetings there were former prime ministers of Britain Gordon Brown and Tony Blair while the current Prime Minister David Cameron was also attending the UN General Assembly but there has been no political fuss in London.
This was the second time for Banda to attend international meetings with her predecessor after the US-Africa Summit in August this year.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :