Gender Minister Patricia Kaliati is grossly misguided in her “hallucinations” to suggest that former President Joyce Banda “has a liking for following President Peter Mutharika wherever he goes”, Banda’s office has said.
Kaliati reportedly addressed a news conference in New York to “react to reports” that the former President is also scheduled to travel to the United States of America (USA) where President Mutharika will be attending the United Nations (UN) General Assembly.
“Without being seen to engage in a senseless battle of words with Hon. Patricia Kaliati, it is still important to correct the wrong impression advanced by Hon. Patricia Kaliati. It is saddening when the Minister, or indeed anyone, misrepresents facts about where the former Head of State is and what the motive (s) of her trips are. “Indeed, the President left the country on Monday, September 15, 2014 for South Africa. She is currently still in South Africa where she has been attending Board Meetings for the Joyce Banda Foundation International (Africa Initiative).
“It is therefore wrong and embarrassing for the minister to churn outright lies,” reads a press statement signed by Andekuche Chanthunya, Public Relations Officer for Banda and made available to Nyasa Times on Thursday.
According to the statement, the former President does not dream up her trips. While she is a free global citizen who is at liberty to travel at will, anywhere and at any time, her recent trips that have coincided with President Mutharika’s international engagements were on invitation.
“If it has happened before that the former Head of State was abroad and in the same territory as was President Mutharika, it must have been purely coincidental. It has nothing to do with the nonsense contained in Hon. Kaliati’s hallucinations,” reads the statement in part.
The Office of the Former President clarifies in the statement that former President Banda will indeed travel to the US where the UN General Assembly will take place next week. She will be there attending the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice meeting at the invitation of founder and chair, Mary Robinson.
Robinson is the seventh, and first female, President of Ireland who served from 1990 to 1997.
According to the statement, many other former Heads of State and Government will be in New York attending various meetings on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. For example, Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK) will be in New York. Former President of Nigeria Olusegun Obasanjo will be in New York attending various meetings. Former Presidents of United States, George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will also be in New York attending various meetings.
Reads the statement: “Does it follow then that since the incumbent US President Barack Obama will be attending the UN General Assembly, Presidents Bush and Clinton are ‘following’ him? That’s wayward reasoning.”
Concludes the statement: “The tag of being former President does not begin to deter Her Excellency Joyce Banda from fully enjoying rights as a bona-fide citizen of Malawi. She is a global figure and citizen of the world who is free to travel to anyplace in the world at any time as long as she is not breaking any law. “
The statement said taking leave of the President before travelling as suggested by Kaliati is at the former Head of State’s discretion and not a constitutional obligation.
Banda’s office said Kaliati “must therefore come off her politically induced utopia”, saying s he must be encouraged to communicate facts instead of her imaginations.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :