The governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has been accused of being so obsessed in gagging former president Joyce Banda, who is on a self-imposed exile abroad, after Secretary to the President and Cabinet Lyold Muhara has written her withing three months on the same subject , warning and reminding Banda about the oath of secrecy he claims she took to keep government secrets.
Muhara says the letter requesting Banda to observe the oath of secrecy was written to another former heads of state Bakili Muluzi nd former vice presidents Justin Malewezi, Cassim Chilumpha and Khumbo Kachali.
But Malawi News in an editorial comment on Saturday said Banda is the target.
“We do not need to study rocket science for us to fathom that the main target of the vile warning is Joyce Banda and the explanation that Minister of Information Nicholas Dausi is proffering to the effect that the target is not her does not make sense to us,” reads the comment in part.
It continued: “The question that the minister should have addressed so that Malawians make heads or tail out of this is; why is the DPP government so obsessed with shutting up the mouth of Joyce Banda?
What is it that the DPP government thinks Joyce Banda has in her head that it is so afraid it must not come out?”
Muhara in the new letter with similar message to the first letter said:“I have the honour to refer to my letter of even reference dated 21st June 2017 to Your Excellency regarding the oath of secrecy. Firstly, I wish to inform Your Excellency that the same letter was written to all former presidents and former vice presidents to simply remind them of the importance of observing confidentiality and secrecy in their day to day conduct. As such the letter did not in any way single you out,” said “I wish to highlight that the oath of secrecy that Your Excellency undertook when in office is still binding after Your Excellency relinquished your duties as president of the Republic of Malawi. In view of this, I would like to respectfully remind Your Excellency to refrain from commenting or divulging any information that Your Excellency were privileged to know while serving as president of the Republic of Malawi.”
It adds: “Avoid sharing with the general public any information that Your Excellency acquired while serving in the Office of the President. It should be noted that it is a misdemeanour to share privileged information for the benefit of any foreign power, person or institution in any other manner prejudicial to the interests of state.”
Chancellor College law professor Edge Kanyongolo said the Constitution of Malawi does not prescribe oath of secrecy for heads of state.
“The Constitution certainly does not prescribe oath of secrecy. So if there is an oath of secrecy that is administered to the head of state, I am not immediately aware of what the legal basis of such an oath is,” he said in quotes reported by Malawi News.
The paper concluded that “DPP obsession with Joyce Banda is just too much and unhealthy for our democracy.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :