Mzuzu-based political commentator Emily Mkamanga has said while immediate former President Joyce Banda’s ambition to contest as presidential candidate in the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections was good in terms of fulfilling the 50-50 Campaign, but that she can’t win because her popularity and trust among the electoral have waned.
Mkamanga comments comes after People’s Party (PP) has said its leader, Banda will be on presidential ballot as its torch bearer.
She said in remarks reported the local daily newspaper, The Nation, that Banda chances are slim following her loss in 2014 and her prolonged absence after leaving the country for a self-imposed exile from July 2014 to April this year.
Mkamanga said: “She can do it, but chances are not good for her. She overstayed overseas, so it was like a party without a leader. People thought that she abandoned the party.”
She added: “Unless a miracle happens, time is not on her side. An alliance can be good for her.”
Her two years in power, from 2012-14, will always be synonymous with the cashgate scandal, which revealed the systematic looting of public money by civil servants, private contractors and politicians.
The former president has always denied having a hand in the theft of around $31 million, which began before her presidency. Many presume her reluctance to return to Malawi was due to her fear of arrest.
But Banda insists she has been cleared of any involvement in cashgate, but there is slow progress on unprecedented financial scandal of K236 billion Cashgate which occurred partly under the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime . Authorities are not in investigating and prosecuting the cases, which a forensic audit established happened between 2009 and December 2014.
In the 2014 elections, Banda did not only fail to win, thus becoming Malawi’s first incumbent president to lose elections since the dawn of multi-party democracy in 1994, but came a distant third.