Malawi’s immediate-past president Joyce Banda is asking the High Court to nullify the warrant of arrest issued by Malawi Police in connection with the country’s “Cashgate” corruption scandal, which involved large-scale looting of government coffers.
Banda has been living in self-imposed exile since she lost to President Peter Mutharika in the 2014 election.
And last month national police spokesman James Kadadzera said a warrant of arrest was issued againt Banda, saying she is ” suspected of abusing her office” in the Cashgate scandal.
Malawi Police said it had alerted Interpol [International Police] to help to bring her back home to answer the charges.
But the former president denies the allegations, she accuses the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration of persecuting her.
In an application to the High Court, Banda through one of her lawyers, Bright Theu, decisions of the magistrate court that issued the warrant and the Inspector General (IG) of Police are disproportionate and unreasonable.
Theu argues that the execution of the warrant would constitute an unjustifiable infringement the former president’s fundamental right to liberty and security of her person guaranteed under Section 18 of the Constitution.
Spokesperson for the former president, Andekuche Chanthunya, said he tried to get the documents regarding her arrest from the courts to no avail.
The lawyers ALSO say they have made strenuous effort to obtain a copy of the warrant of arrest, but the authorities have either ignored or refused or otherwise failed to furnish them with a copy of the same.
In the application, Banda also wants the High Court to declare the magistrate and police’s refusal to provide a copy of the warrant and the information about the court that issued it as a violation of her right to information.
The court is set to hear arguments from both Banda’s lawyers and government on September 20, before determining whether to nullify the warrant of arrest.
Cashgate is the biggest financial scandal in Malawi’s history and helped push Banda out of power in 2014.
That came after she ordered an audit the previous year which discovered that $30 million had been looted by officials in less than six months in 2013.
Dozens of civil servants, business people and politicians have since been implicated in the scam, and some have been jailed.
International donors pulled the plug on aid of around $150 million over the scandal.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :