Former president Joyce Banda, who returned to her homeland on Saturday after four years of self-imposed exile, has been advised against making another run for the presidency next year.
Greg Mills, executive director of the Brenthurst Foundation, who was part of the secretariat to Banda’s Presidential Advisory Committee on the Economy from 2012 to early 2014, believes she would be unwise to run again
According to a report on Institute of Security Studies and also posted on Daily Marverick, as Banda and her People’s Party (PP) contemplate a possible run next year, they will be aware that although she has won elections to Parliament and has served as a minister under former president Bingu wa Mutharika, her track record as president “has not been stellar.”
Mills pointed out: “If she runs or signals her intention to do so, the gloves will come off. Given the state Malawi’s economy is in, this would probably be destructive, at least in the short term.”
The report says PP will, unfortunately, also have to contemplate other likely repercussions of a decision to run for the highest office.
But Mills believes Banda, 68, still has a role to play.
“If she plays a role outside or above politics, as a king or queen-maker, for example, then she could play a very constructive role,” said Banda.
Mutharika’s vice president, the capable and respected economist and former corporate executive Saulos Chilima, could be the king whom Banda could help “make”, some suggest, according to the report.
Mills gives Banda credit for floating the kwacha and stabilising the economy initially. Then Cashgate exploded and knocked everything off kilter.
Malawi Police issued an arrest warrant for Banda last July for alleged complicity in the so-called Cashgate scandal during her brief tenure as president between 2012 and 2014 and has said it is valid.
Anti-Corruption Bureau boss Reyneck Matemba has also insisted that Banda remains under investigations for corruption allegations and Cashgate.
Banda has always claimed that Cashgate took off under the presidency of her predecessor Bingu wa Mutharika – brother of the current incumbent – and that she had nothing to do with it, saying she has evidence that allegations connecting her to the looting are politically inspired.
Most observers believe her but acknowledge that the state looting probably accelerated on her watch.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :