Controversy has erupted between the State and former President, Joyce Banda after she turned down an official house government provided in June last year.
Nyasa Times has established that in June, 2014, government offered Banda a house in Area 43 in Lilongwe as part of her retirement package as stipulated by the Act of Parliament.
However, Banda’s aides rejected the house as inhabitable, and demanded for a new one with new furniture.
Both government and Banda’s office confirmed in separate interviews that the house was indeed rejected although the former President’s office is still keeping the keys.
The housing controversy follows Banda’s accusations that government is not providing her with any of her retirement benefits, including a decent and secure home, transport and salary since she
left office in May 2014.
”As government we offered the house and the former President’s aides verified it and confirmed it was suitable. But some days later they told us it wasn’t befitting the status of the former Head of State,” explained Minister of Information, Kondwani Nankhumwa.
Nankhumwa said after the house was rejected, Banda’s camp did not return the keys and, that government was currently waiting for them to choose a house of her choice.
“We are currently waiting for them to tell us which house they have chosen although we are yet to come to terms with her demands for furniture, which we find very exorbitant,” added Nankhumwa.
Nankhumwa claimed Banda’s office demanded a new furniture worth K150 million.
And Banda’s personal assistant, Andekuche Chanthunya while confirming to have rejected the house as it was ‘uninhabitable’, described the K150 million furniture claims as exaggerated.
Chanthunya said they rejected the offered house as it was in poor condition and that government did not offer them any alternative.
”After we inspected it (the house) we noted it wasn’t habitable at all. We have not been told to choose a house of our choice, if so, let government put that in writing,” argued Chanthunya.
Chanthunya added: ”We indeed made the demand for furniture but am not sure it was worth K150 million. I think the said amount is exaggerated”.
Asked about the house keys, Chanthunya confirmed were still in their custody as government officials were refusing to take them back.
”We dont know who to hand the keys to as noone from government is willing to accept them. We have been pushed from one office to another”.
He therefore demanded government to start delivering on its promises including the replacement of former President’s removed official vehicles.
Banda in this week defended her prolonged stay abroad, claiming she faces imminent danger if she ever steps her foot in Malawi considering that government weakened her security.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :