Malawi’s immediate-past president Joyce Banda has told Aljazeera that she intends to return home and dismissed that a warrant of arrest was issued by Malawi Police in connection with the country’s “Cashgate” corruption scandal, which involved large-scale looting of government coffers.
Banda has been living abroad since she lost to President Peter Mutharika in the 2014 election. She has been living in the United States, serving as a distinguished fellow at Woodrow Wilson Center and the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC.
Malawi Police Service (MPS)sclaimed they have secured a warrant of arrest from the court for Banda in relation to her alleged involvement in cashgate.
National police spokesman James Kadadzera said Banda suspected of “abusing her office” in the Cashgate scandal.
But appearing in an episode of Al Jazeera’s current affairs programme, UpFront, Banda the former president denies the allegations, she accuses the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration of persecuting her.
“I intend to return to Malawi…” she said.
Asked about the warrant of arrest which Police claimed it was issued against her, Banda said she was not provided with a copy of the warrant and the information about the court that issued it .
“There was no warrant of arrest that was issued by Malawi Police,” said Banda.
“Up until now, there is no warrant of arrest. It was a press statement [that they would issue a warrant of arrest],” she said
“Up until now no warrant of arrest has been issued,” she stressed in Al Jazeera television interview.
Quizzed on her role to Cashgate, Banda said after learning about the financial malfeasance, she asked British government to help with forensic audit to clean the system of the looting which has been there before she came to power.
And through RSM (formerly Baker Tilly) the audit was conducted and exposed the large picture of Cashgate.
“How many presidents in Africa would conduct forensic audit of their government,” said Banda patting herself on the back for taking a bold move.
“I am the only president who got to the bottom of corruption and instituted the first-ever commission of inquiry into corruption,” she added.
Asked that some Cashgate convicts have mentioned her name in the scandal, Banda said the people were pressured to soil her name.
“I have evidence people were approached to implicate me [in cashgate],” Banda told Aljazeera.
“I don’t have to clear my name, because Malawians know what I did and my concisous is very clear,” she stressed.
Cashgate is the biggest financial scandal in Malawi’s history and helped push Banda out of power in 2014.
That came after she ordered an audit the previous year which discovered that $30 million had been looted by officials in less than six months in 2013.
Dozens of civil servants, business people and politicians have since been implicated in the scam, and some have been jailed.
International donors pulled the plug on aid of around $150 million over the scandal.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :