Former president Joyce Banda would surrender to police once a warrant of arrest is served on her, her spokesperson has said following disclosure by Malawi police of an arrest warrant over alleged abuse of office and money laundering offences over a two-year period when she was in office.
Andekuche Chamthuya, Banda’s spokesperson, said his office is yet to get the warrant of arrest which the police say has been issued.
“I have been to the police to get the warrant of arrest but I have been tossed from one office to another,” Chamthunya, a trained lawyer, said.
He said the former president would cooperate with authorities once the warrant of arrest is served to her.
Chanthunya said the former president was not guilty of anything.
“As far as we are concerned she has not done anything wrong,” he said.
Banda left the country soon after losing the 2014 election to Peter Mutharika and is believed to be in self imposed exile in the US.
The alleged offences were part of a wider corruption scandal uncovered in 2013, in which senior government office siphoned millions of dollars from state coffers, national police spokesman James Kadadzera said.
Investigations by police’s fiscal and fraud department had “unearthed credible evidence” against Banda, he said.
“The evidence gathered raises reasonable suspicion that the former President committed offences related to abuse of office and money laundering. The warrant of arrest is in force and necessary legal formalities are being pursued,” Kadadzera said in a statement.
Political analyst at the University of Livingstonia George Phiri said the issuance of the warrant of arrest has not come as a surprise because some convicts mentioned her as an accomplice in the looting of the public money.
The corruption scandal, dubbed “cashgate”, led to international donors halting aid to the country.
A former justice minister Ralph Kasambara was convicted over “cashgate” related matter and is in jail, along with a number of former high-ranking government officials and business persons.