Joyce Banda want to take fight against corruption global, tells Radio France Internationale

Joyce Banda made headlines in 2012 when she became the first female president of Malawi, and the second in Africa’s history. After being cleared of damning corruption allegations, she has vowed to take the struggle against graft worldwide. As part of momentous year for women around the world, Radio France Internationale (RFI) is shining a spotlight on her story.

Joyce Banda: Inwas advised to cover up corruption

“Seventy billion dollars leaves the continent, our resources are being looted. The question I always have is this: ‘Where is it going?’,” former Malawian leader Joyce Banda told RFI at the end of last month.

It wasn’t long ago, however, that the outspoken anti-corruption activist was the centre of suspicion herself.

In July 2017 reports emerged that Malawi police had secured an arrest warrant for Banda over alleged abuse of office and money-laundering offences as part of the 250-million-dollar (200-million-euro) “Cashgate” scandal, which erupted during her 2012-2014 term of office.

“Smear campaign”

Banda has always maintained her innocence.

“I want you to know that fighting corruption is not easy at all,” she says, claming that a smear campaign was launched against her for shaking up the status quo.

Seventy-two people were arrested over the Cashgate scandal, which resulted in several donor nations suspending aid.

“In fact, I was advised that you’re better off covering up corruption because of its negative consequences,” comments Banda.

Beyond the suspension of aid, a major worry for a country where 40 per cent of thel budget relies on donor support, the other concern was that Malawi would lose its position on the human development index by “blowing the whistle”.

“I have always insisted that leadership is a love affair,” insists Banda. “The moment you raise that Bible that you’re going to be a leader and you take oath, you must be prepared that there are times when you are wrongly persecuted.”

In addition to avoiding jail, Banda also survived two assassination attempts.

But she remains undeterred.

“I feel great respect for all those who stick their neck out to fight corruption in their countries,” she says, adding that she wants them to continue doing so further.

Today her voice carries more weight. The cloud of suspicion surrounding her alleged involvement in Cashgate was dissipated in January this year when Malawi’s Anti-Corruption Bureau cleared her of any wrongdoing.

Global problem

Now Banda wants to take the fight against corruption global.

“It’s a global problem, for both men and women leaders to fight, if we’re going to serve the people well,” she says.

And she’s calling on Western countries to play their part.

“If I, as a former president of Malawi, come to Paris and buy six houses, you must ask me where I got the money from,” she insists, urging the West to do more to limit the substantial cash flows out of Africa.

“What worries me is when we ask for that money back, there’s resistance.”

She’s called on women to rise up to break down these barriers.

“Women are the majority [of the world’s population] and the last time I checked, they brought the other half into the world, so they can’t be ignored.”

If Africa lags behind in the fight against corruption, the continent has made long strides in putting women forward, Banda reckons.

“We’ve had four female presidents unlike other parts of the world where women are still trying to get into statehouse,” she points out.

Her model countries? Rwanda and Namibia.

Rwanda, because “40 percent of the cabinet are women” and Namibia because of its s”zebra concept” whereby “when the president is a man, the vice-president is a woman and all the way down”.

“We can come up with innovations such as those,” the 67-year-old insists

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Mhuju
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Mhuju

Speaking of finish finish nanthambwe took himself. Mwayambaponso kubwetukabwetuka kuja mai. Choncho mu khoti sangachedwe kukumangani nyakula.

I love malawi
Guest
I love malawi

This woman is a hypocrite, a liar and who doesn’t have any interest for Malawi.she has absolutely nothing to offer to us as a nation.yet,every time she has a pimple on her cheek,you report it to us,why????If the truth be told,we miss her nor de we need her.To hell with her please

Hatton
Guest
Hatton

‘Kodi munthu akaba ndikukugawira, iwe waba nawo?’. Kodi anthu wolankhula mopusa chonchi angalimbane ndi mchitidwe wa katangale?

kaka ni dada
Guest
kaka ni dada

Bweranitu ngati mulibe nkhawa chifukwa che Pitala alepheratu kuyendetsa dziko.

wids
Guest
wids

I don t know why white people still believe in this woman, may be they were part of the syndicate to loot in what is called cashgate. No one wants to ask her why she is avoiding to come back to Malawi if her conscious is clear.

Comrade
Guest
Comrade

Kodi osangokhala chete bwanji???? This woman wants to remain relevant even it doesn’t make sense. JB talking about corruption is indeed laughable

Hatton
Guest
Hatton

JB says it all. If people go to France and buy six houses, the government there must query the source of the funds. If government asks people here who are building houses, for arguement’s sake, say at maula, would our leaders, say in opposition or elsewhere, not say that is propaganda?

Listen and Love
Guest

I am not at all. Is she not the one who was saying that a person who didn’t steal money but only participates in the eating of the same is not guilty of the crime? She must know that it is a crime in Malawi to receive stolen property, (money inclusive). And he/ she who encourages crime becomes part of that offence. By the way, how and who is funding her prolonged stay in azunguland? Is it not proceeds from cashgate money the lutepos were giving her? Battle against corruption in Malawi is not yet over all beneficiaries restitute to… Read more »

Biti John
Guest
Biti John

Awanso!!
Eish ine nseru

Gondolosi
Guest
Gondolosi

The biggest thief on the biggest stsge telling the biggest lies about stealing the biggest cash in the smallest country with the smallest cash with the smallest brains but with the biggest fools

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