People’s Party (PP) has maintained that former president and its party founder as well as leader Joyce Banda will “definitely” return home this month from abroad, where she had been operating from and President Peter Mutharika has since said she is a free woman to come back home.
Banda has been out of the country on private engagements since June 29, 2014 when she left for the United States of America (US).
PP publicity secretary and also acting director of administration, Ken Msonda, has said all is set for Banda’s return this month.
However, PP is keeping in wraps the actual day of her arrival.
“Mind you she is not an ordinary person, she is a former head of state,” Msonda said.
Msonda said the party will announce the date soon, insisting it will be this month of October.
Meanwhile, President Mutharika has said Banda is free to return home and will not face persecution as it has widely been feared
According to Mutharika, his administration is not interested in persecuting individuals or political opponents.
“I think the time has come in Africa where we have got to stop the scenario of a new president always persecuting the previous president. It is not a crime to be president, so that has got to stop and I am the one to stop that,” said Mutharika on Voice of America.
In May this year, retired chief justice Richard Banda wrote foreign missions and development partners in the country, asking them to intervene in “repeated political harassment and persecution” of his wife, JB, by the Mutharika administration.
In a letter dated May 13 2015, the former chief justice said the family is convinced that “the many unsubstantiated accusations and allegations” could be a precursor to much more sinister motives.
The Mutharika regime has made attempts to link Banda to the cashgate corruption scandal with a minister Kondwani Nankhumwa claiming he has CCTV footage presented to Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) that implicates the former president. But it has since turned out that the claims was mere fallacy and propaganda.
“Joyce Banda is free woman and a person drunk with wine or whiskey cannot just wake up to go an arrest an innocent person like me or Joyce Banda,” said PP spokesman Msonda.
In an interview with VOA, Mutharika said: “All I have said is that nobody in Malawi is above the law. And that is if there is anybody involved in Cashgate [corruption] it doesn’t depend on whoever it is he is going to be tried according to the law. I swore to uphold the law and the constitution of Malawi and that is going to be the case.”
Mutharika also said he cannot continue to extend a message of goodwill to his predecessor.
“I extended this olive branch, [but] I cannot go on to beg somebody to work with me if she doesn’t want to, and she doesn’t. … We are making progress, and to me that is what matters rather than individuals” Mutharika said.
Some of the former president’s major engagements include meeting former United States president Bill Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in Morocco on May 5 and receiving of her doctorate degree on May 15.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :