There have been mixed feelings on what former president Joyce Banda has said through her statement which she issued some days ago in defence against accusations by Cashgate convicts and suspects that she was the master-mind of the plunder that cost government K13 billion.
Her statement is as long and winding just as it is half-baked, emotional and speculative. Rare, and very rare, has a person that once served in the country’s Presidency been so obsessed with issuing statements the way Madame Banda does.
Not that she has no liberty to do so but the frequency and repetition of what she believes are her facts is lame and not in accordance with how the majority of Malawians look at her two-year leadership which was curtailed by a decisive vote of no confidence from Malawians on May 20, 2014.
The former leader seems to mix personal issues with national discourse in one basket while labouring to convince Malawians that her mistakes in office can be compensated by what she has faced as a human. It leaves many in total wonder when Madame JB thinks that what she experienced as Vice President between 2009 and 2012 is a recurring event that erases her subsequent sins to Malawians.
Much as she might had problems with her former boss, late Professor Bingu, it does not automatically mean that she should transfer her anger to the current President simply because of heredity.
Cashgate, without dragging in sympathetic maneuvers, is already a huge dent on a woman who the international community followed and adored as a messiah. As such, Madame Banda needs to tread with caution when she tries to take herself out of the equation.
Which is wiser for her between denying her involvement using legally non-sanctioned Public Relations statements or coming back home to be a witness in the court of law as has been demanded by at least five Cashgate suspects and convicts? She must not think that Malawians are
daft on where their taxes went under her regime.
Daily Times newspaper reported months ago that the Peoples Party regime coincided with K350 billion of the K577 billion query which covers the period between 2009 and 2014. Based on such query details, is it hard for Joyce Banda to see that -besides the K13 billion that her party officials and sympathizers helped steal- she shoulders more of the burden when it comes to the plunder of public resources?
So, the more she issues statements when Cashgate convicts mention her involvement the more she makes us all wonder what she is really hiding.
Going by her recent statement which is targeted at Mrs Treza Namathanga Senzani, it shows that Joyce Banda is one being who lives under the paranoia that government is busy holding meetings with Cashgate convicts and suspects to drag her into mud.
Take note that the main undoing for Joyce Banda is how she uses her tongue. The same
way she backed key suspect Paul Mphwiyo as an angel soon after he was shot is the same way she is trying to dismiss Senzani’s assertions before finding the truth about the discussions that are said to have taken place between party and government officials.
What if, in the course of time, it is found that really Senzani spoke to the people she mentions and they told her what she says they said? Would JB be bold enough under those circumstances to correct her facts?
Any sane and wise person waits to gather all the details of what happened before denying things that might have happened behind her back. It is this kind of behaviour that vindicates her past
actions like when she expressed knowledge of who shot Mphwiyo and why.
Another hole in JB’s statement is about what happened during the 2014 Tripartite elections.
Eighteen months after the elections it is only JB among all the Presidential candidates who seems to have not accepted that power changed hands. No wonder she -time and again- finds reasons to tell
Malawians that President Peter Mutharika rigged his way to State House. She might want to be reminded that when credible pollsters such as Afrobarometer forecast the return of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to power, her team were cooking surveys showing that she was going to win by some 44 percent of the popular vote.
Despite some administrative challenges of the electoral process, the outcome was what all credible analysts hinted. By now Joyce Banda should know that even a recount would have proved that the DPP were winners of the election. It then smacks of prolonged mental shock for Madame JB to parade social media hearsay by one Ligomeka who claims the election was rigged simply because he was hired to help man the DPP tally centre.
Who in this country does not know that all the political parties had their own tally centres sanctioned by Malawi Electoral Commission (MEC) to verify the vote count across the country? Whether the DPP mounted 50 or 100 computers at Professor Mutharika’s residence or not is not enough to prove anything about a rigged vote.
Still on elections should we really labour to educate Madame Joyce Banda that Malawi has never conducted electronic voting before?
Why then would votes be stolen when they have already been counted and all political parties, official broadcasters and other stakeholders have already verified the figures and submitted them to the national tally centre? JB should be told -may be for the final time – that the technical fault with MEC transmission technology only helped delay her embarrassment.
Even had the results trickled in within hours she still was going to lose that election as miserably as was the case. The statements from her office will continue to trickle in every time her name is mentioned in relation to Cashgate but surely her coming home is what will put all this to rest.
- The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Nyasa Times