President Joyce Banda has said all politicians, including Members of Parliament (MPs) from other parties wishing to join her People’s Party (PP) should go consult the party’s Secretary General and not her or the state broadcaster, MBC.
Speaking at a press briefing on Tuesday at her official Area 12 Residence in Lilongwe, Banda said she has noted with excitement the euphoria that has come with her ascendancy to power and that many politicians would like to join her.
“But if we want to join the People’s Party, let’s follow protocol. Let’s not do it haphazardly, including announcing your intentions on the radio or MBC. We won’t take you seriously that way,” she said.
Banda, the first female Head of State in Malawi and second in Africa after Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, also advised politicians intending to join the PP or any other party to be motivated by the ideals, policies and vision of the preferred party rather than just being motivated by greed.
Meanwhile, Banda has disclosed that she had directed that the Minister of Health, Dr. Jean Alfazema Kalilani goes to South Africa to ensure that all arrangements of bringing President Mutharika’s body are in order.
Mutharika died after he suffered a cardiac arrest on Thursday, April 5. His body was flown to Pretoria, South Africa for further post-mortem.
On Saturday, April 7, Banda was sworn in as Malawi’s President by virtue of the constitutional Vice President position she held until the death of Mutharika.
“Cabinet established a committee to oversee the Former President’s funeral arrangements. That committee is chaired by Hon. Henry Mussa. Yesterday (Monday), I received a briefing from the committee on arrangements being put in place.
“I have been talking to Professor Peter Mutharika and this morning I met him and I received further briefing from the bereaved family on funeral arrangements,” said President Banda.
Banda said when all arrangements are finalized, there shall be an official announcement to inform the nation about the date of the arrival of Mutharika’s body. The President, however, confirmed that burial would take place on April 23, 2011 at Ndata farm in Thyolo.