Joyce Banda faces arrest: Political will to have Malawi ex-leader indicted

After former Malawian President Joyce Banda has indicated that she will not quit politics as she will be leading People’s Party (PP) in rebuilding process for 2019 elections, the government is rolling its wheels that she should face an arrest for alleged offenses signalled by the new President Peter Mutharika.

Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) boss Justice Renzine Mzikamanda is increasingly under pressure from the Executive to have Banda indicted or he will be replaced by Mutharika’s loyalist.

Nyasa Times understands that ACB has not collected objective material evidence linking Banda to prosecuteable offence other than mere unsubstantiated allegations.

Former president Banda:  Faces arrest
Former president Banda: Faces arrest

The development has forced government to assign Nicholas Dausi the new Director General of National Intelligence Bureau to fetch for “any substantive material” that would link Banda to law breaking.

“Joyce Banda needs to be shaken a bit with an arrest,” Dausi is said to have been instructed by the powers-that-be. Seven days deadline to pursue the matter has been given to Dausi.

Dausi said Mutharika government will not with-hunt her predecessor but pointed out that s that although he does not seek vengeance, he will doubtless preside over the prosecution of “those who have broken the law.”

During Banda’s tenure, Mutharika was among a host of other things, accused of covering up the death of his brother former President Bingu WA Mutharika. The charges have since been dropped.

In his speech shortly after his inauguration, President Mutharika warned that those who have broken the law “will face the full course of justice.”

Tusekele Mwanyongo, a spokesman for the former president, said Banda’s conscious is “very clear from any wrongdoing.”

He suspected “political witch-hunting” against Banda.

Banda’s administration was hit by K61 billion corruption scandal, dubbed ‘Cashgate’, after large amounts of cash were discovered to have stolen by a racket involving senior public officers, businessmen and banks.

President Mutharika promised to prosecute all those involved in the Capital Hill looting, saying “Cashgate was a very, very serious problem. I think our country had lost its moral compass. I think things like Cashgate happen when our leaders fail to differentiate between right and wrong.”

The scandal led to donors cutting aid. Malawi is heavily dependent on aid, which provides 40% of the government’s budget.

Mwanyongo said: “Not to dwell much on the merits and demerits; the political undertones; and public interest regarding ACB’s plans to indict the former Head of State, Malawians will also be more than keen to know the truth about the K92 bn of public funds a government instituted audit found had allegedly disappeared in half of all the ministries before Banda became President in April 2012.”

He said Malawians will also be keen to see some progress on many outstanding corruption and theft cases, including the concession of the Nyika-Vwaza Marsh Ecotourism Reserve and the education scam both involving a former Information Minister – Patricia Kaliati – during the previous DPP government and the fertilizer scam involving Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe under the previous DPP government, among others.

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