Joyce Banda dares Malawi govt over arrest: Chakwera denounce political persecution

Malawi’s former president Joyce Banda has dared the government to stop intimidating her with an arrest warrant over the infamous Cashgate scandal.

Crowds of people at the rally in Chibanja
Crowds of people at the rally in Chibanja
Crowds of people at the rally in Chibanja

Banda, who is also People’s Party (PP) president, directly addressing President Peter Mutharika and the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), said: “I do not fear. In my vocabulary fear does not exist and I would like to sternly caution the government to stop threatening me with an arrest because I am not scared.”

The Malawian former leader made the defiant admonition at Chibanja Township in Mzuzu City Saturday afternoon during a political campaign rally addressed by Malawi Congress Party (MCP), PP, Freedom Party alliance.

“I would like to warn this out-going government to stop witch-hunting me because I have endorsed MCP’s presidential candidate, Dr. Lazarus Chakwera who is poised to win the May 21 tripartite elections.

“When someone has committed a crime, that person is arrested and duly prosecuted alongside with evidence of their crime. It has been a year since I returned to this country why did they not arrest me all this time, why now?” queried a visibly annoyed Banda.

‘Ghost warrant’

Banda was responding to three senior Cabinet minister public announcement that she risks being arrested over her involvement in the Cashgate scandal “because there is an existing valid warrant of arrest for her over alleged abuse of office and money laundering.”

Neither Banda or her lawyers have been issued with the purported warrant of arrest.

Speaking at the news conference which, among others, was attended by Finance minister Goodall Gondwe, Justice and Constitutional Affairs minister Samuel Tembenu and Malawi government spokesperson and Information, Communication and technology minister Henry Mussa said Joyce Banda’s arrest warrant is “alive and valid.”

The three ministers took turns explaining that in the fullness of time, the former president will face the arm of law.

“Government has been forced to comment on the issue following continued political statements by both Joyce Banda and MCP’s Lazarus Chakwera insinuating that the former leader is innocent on the massive plunder of public funds popularly known as cashgate,” said Mussa.

Weighing in on matter, MCP/PP/Freedom alliance presidential hopeful Chakwera said: “Using warrants of arrest to persecute political rivals is misuse of justice. It is politics of retribution and total irresponsibility. Stop this madness and get out of here.”

Chakwera added: “Let them arrest Joyce Banda if they think she is guilty of any crime but why are they arresting her now? We know these are useless people (Tikuwadziwa awa ndi anthu achabechabe) who just want to intimidate their political rivals.”

He accused DPP of making “scare monger tactic” against Banda and political rivals.

Chakwera charged that the DPP led government is after Joyce Banda because she is endorsing him and that they know that as a firebrand politician, the former president is a political game changer.

“Tell them to be scared of their own plunders of public resources,” he added.

Speaking earlier, former vice president Khumbo Kachali who is also Freedom Party president said Malawians must not allow the government to oppress its own people adding that arresting the former president is an arrest for all Malawians.

Said Kachali: “We must not allow the DPP government to arrest any politician for no reason but intimidation. Arresting Joyce Banda is arresting Malawians, arresting Dr Chakwera is arresting Malawians and arresting Dr Saulos Chilima [UTM party president is arresting the people of Malawi and arresting Atupele Muluzi [UDF president] is arresting Malawians.”

‘Cashgate Fact-file’

Cashgate is a financial scandal involving looting, theft and corruption that happened at Capital Hill, the seat of Government of Malawi.

The scandal was uncovered during the administration of President Joyce Banda, though it is widely believed to have begun prior to her taking office.

The scandal first came to light in September 2013, when an accounts assistant in the Ministry of Environment was found with several thousand dollars (USD) in his car.

A week later, the Budget Director in the Ministry of Finance was shot outside his home, and several other civil servants were found hiding large sums of money, thus unravelling what came to be known as the “Cashgate” scandal.

Following revelation, the British government sponsored an independent audit into the scandal, focusing on transactions made through Malawi’s electronic financial management system and the first audit – released to the public in February 2014 – demonstrated that 16 Malawian companies received illicit payments from the government between April and September 2013 for goods and services that were not performed.

Cashgate remains a high-profile political dispute in Malawi.

Current President Peter Mutharika and his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) continue to allege Banda’s guilt in the scandal, though there is no evidence supporting this claim.

Likewise, Banda and her People’s Party (PP) have long speculated both Mutharikas’ involvement in Cashgate, citing the mysterious murder of the head of administration at the graft bursting body, Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), a failure to enact financial reforms and suspicious wealth accumulation of high-ranking DPP members.

So far, there is no link between either the former Joyce Banda or current President Peter Mutharika and Cashgate that has been established.

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nyalugwe
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nyalugwe

DPP started cashgate and they are continuing with

Fck
Guest
Fck

But Mai JB ndi mzwanya koma mmene akutokoteramu wina sa agwa ndi bp? Chifukwa kusewera naye akutulutsirani chilungamo chiwawa Kaya ine ndingopereka malangizo awulere a DPP zingopakirani Basi mayi aponda mwala AWA ukuphinjani ndithu kangonyamukani mizipita

Memory
Guest
Memory

Zoti cashgate inayamba ndi JB IS NOT TRUE. I have seen evidence that this started at the police during Bingu;s time . There is a memo to Bingu signed by Chief secretary Msaka and Reserve Bank governor Ligoya copied to head of financial intelligence unit dated February 2012, 2 months before Bingu died. It says IFIMS has been brocken at the police with Batawalalas andsenior police officers and others (I saw the list of companies) getting money for no work done. Bingu replies, ‘i will take action’. He never took action because two months later he died. When JB came… Read more »

Chilungamo
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Chilungamo

Fact.
This is what LIARS &THIEVES in DPP would like to sweep under the carpet.
Ummbava woopsya kwambiri. They stop at nothing, that’s why they can even kill to get rid of anything that would expose the hiden truth.

BigMan
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BigMan

JB is one cunning politician, she knew DPP was keeping the arrest warrant for the right time and she has simply conscripted the whole MCP to become her spin doctors and public defenders. This was a trap and MCP has walked right into it.

The new MCP NEC which is mostly ex PP and was part of the cashgate helped to set it up. Unfortunately the good Reverend doesnt see that he is now wrestling with a pig, akungodzipakapa basi.

Sikusinja
Guest
Sikusinja

How was this a trap MCP walked into when she first made an alliance with UTM they just didn’t agree on Roy. Even SKC is on record on BBC hard talk that JB was not involved. SKC remember was VP recently and when they were getting in power they promised to get to the bottom of cashgate and arrest JB if guilty. He surely knows they could not find anything to link her to cashgate that’s why he himself was comfortable joining forces with her.

BigMan
Guest
BigMan

The reason that UTM alliance didnt work out was because most of the NEC in UTM were against the alliance because they knew that they would end up being her public defenders and ruin their own brand. Thats why she ended up in bed with Chakwera.

Kaitano
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Kaitano

Shows like it’s for the betterment of many, how do you see?

Amos
Guest

Very ungrateful woman. Your leadership was a curse. You propelled corruption to another level. Just go and observe ukawone corruption ya zawoneni ku road traffic. Ma galimoto are being registered, passed and given COF without even taking the car there for testing, lero ngozi zowopsa pa mnsewu. Ana ang,ono just buying driving licence. Go ku MRA, ku ma border. Zomvetsa chisoni. Ndiye usamaime pa chulu mkumalalata kwa anthu amene akulira. Komanso nanu DPP, bwanji kodi? Zowona ino ikakhale nthawi yoti sopano mumange Joyce,? Tangolandirani salary ya mwezi uno basi muchoke, anthu opanda nzeru inu, ndi nkhalamba zanu zo.

Alamu Pumani Mwakalamba kutibera K145 million
Guest

Pitala and Zameer are in the ACB report kuba K2.7 billion. Food rations were chosen as disposables. K145 million was deposited in APM account and they were forced to pay back. A Malawi is this not enough evidence. Kubweza amabweza kutinji? Chako umabweza? Just go to Bunda Turn off as you go to Ntaya and see the multimillion flats Gertrude is building. APM and Goodall Gondwe don’t know that they are past human life span and very soon we will see them as statues koma kumababe. They left their old people nursing homes in the USA kumadzaba kuno plus kunyenga… Read more »

Prophet Mborol
Guest

We see our economy ,over 90% of bank loans remain unserviced ,This is the sign that DPP has assisted to fail economy.Well organizised governments when economy fail , loans are supposed to be Written Off.If citizen fail in such big number,It is the same as catastrophic to the country where the government has to put a hand.DDP make banks t

Mwananyanian
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Mwananyanian

JB will be arrested after the elections, don’t worry. Nobody wants to make a martyr, a useless martyr, of her.

Mwenempoto
Guest
Mwenempoto

BOMA LA DPP LA NKHALAMBA ZOKHAZOKA LAYAMBA KUNJENJEMELA TSOPANO. ZAKA FIVE ZONSENZI MUMATI MUTIBELE KAYE NDEPANO TASALA PANG’ONO KUTI TOVOTE PA 21 MAY APA NDIPAMENE MUTI TIMUSOKONEZE JOYCE BANDA ASAPANGENAWO KAMPENI.MAGANIZO ACHILOMWE A ACHINA BEN PHIRI WOPUSA, WONUKA, ADYELA MUNYA NAYO PA 21 MAY APA. NDIPOSO MWAMUGWILISA GWILISA NTCHITO MWANA WA BAKILI MULUZI ZAKA FIVE ZONSENZI PANO CHIFUKWA CHADYELA LANU MWATI RUNNING MATE MUKUTI AKHALE A KAZE A GETRUDE AWA A OVERTON CHIMULIRENJI, CHAKA CHAKE NDICHINO MUNYA MUWONA A YAO NDI ASILAMU AKU MANAGOCHI SAKUVOTELANI.MAVOTI AMBIRI A KUMPOTO AJA A JOYCE BANDA PANO NDI A DR LAZARUS CHAKWERA.ACHINA KHUMBO KACHALI… Read more »

John
Guest
John

DPP ndi boma la khalamba ndiponso mbava zoposa aliyense, Getrude Muthalika ndi achina Ben Phiri amanaga manyumba osaneneka mudzaka 5 zokha, inu ku ACB muwafufuze msanga, amangidwe pasanafike pa 21 May 2019. Ndiponso mulandu wa police food rations uli pati inu a ACB nanga uja wa ma file 13?