Malawi’s Vice-President and president of the United Transformation Movement (UTM), Saulos Chilima faced a number of probing questions from journalist Zeinab Badawi on BBC HardTalk but kept his cool and one of them was why he met former president Joyce Banda whose reputation has been dented by a corruption scandal, known as Cashgate, which has led donors to cut aid.
Chilima met Banda in Zomba, September this year, amid speculation that the two were working on a possible political working relationship between United Transformation Movement (UTM) and People’s Party (PP).
The Vice President said Banda shares a common vision with UTM,especially on a pledge to create one million jobs within the first 12 months in office if elected in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections.
But Badawi asked Chilima why associating with Banda whose record she said is poor on corruption especially to do with Cashgate, the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill, exposed under her watch in 2013.
Banda came to power in 2012 after the sudden death of President Bingu wa Mutharika.
“Why meeting her and say there is common vision?” asked the BBC journalist during the HardTalk interview aired on Friday.
“You applaud a president who presided over great corruption,” she further quizzed.
But Chilima said meeting a former president is not an issue and that she has a role to play, especially that she is not charged of any offence and not even a convict.
He added: “Having a common vision does not necessary mean you will do things the same way.”
Banda has maintained that the Cashgate issue has been repeatedly spoken about and that she has made it clear that she played no role; hence, cannot say much.
So far there has been no government agency that has tried to question her in relation to the alleged cases.
Banda said that prior to Cashgate, the K577 billion theft happened between 2009 and 2012 when former president the late Bingu Wa Mutharika was in charge, alleging that there must be a stubborn link between the K577 billion scam and Cashgate.
K577 billion audit query was trimmed to K236 billion after some companies were cleared of no wrong doing by authorities.
Nyasa Times understand that the ACB is ready now to take the rest of the suspected companies to court.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :