‘Kamuzu’s son’ Jumani back in Malawi

A man claiming to be the son of Malawi’s founding President Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Jumani Masauko Kamuzu Banda,  who was deported from Malawi to Sweden on September 27th, 2011 is back in Malawi, Nyasa Times has learnt.

Jumani confirmed to a Nyasa Times correspondent in Lilongwe that he was back in the country.

He could however not disclose his exact location.

“I am somewhere in Lilongwe,” he said.

A prominent human rights lawyer- who opted not to be named – also corroborated the story , saying Jumani was in the country.

Jumani: Back home

Immigration officials – not authorised to speak to the media – confirmed they were aware Jumani has returned.

The send-off

Jumani was deported after he had been arrested for allegedly for insulting  Malawi President late Bingu wa Mutharika at the latter’s private residence in Lilongwe’s Area 3.

But  the explanation by Immigration authorities was that he had overstayed his Malawian visa. Jumani had been living in Sweden but his lawyer says Jumani held a Malawian passport.

And as much as there may be controversy about his biological father, no one disputes the fact that Jumani was born in Malawi to Malawian parents – Mirriam Kaunda.

Canada-based Malawian commentator, Tom Likambale, faulted the former Mutharika regime for deporting from Malawi a Malawian citizen.

“Instead of taking the draconian step of deportation, this was an opportunity for President Mutharika  (now deceased) and his brother Arthur-Peter to initiate debate on dual citizenship, especially considering that [Bingu]  and his brother themselves equally spent uninterrupted decades of their own lives abroad.,” Likambale argued.

He said Mutharika’s  own uninterrupted decades-long stay abroad should have made  them understand and appreciate the benefits, to Malawi and the Malawian diaspora, of dual citizenship.

Jumani, 38, was born at Ekwendeni Mission Hospital in Mzimba on May 2 1973 to his then single mother Mirriam Kaunda, a former Miss Malawi and chief air hostess at Air Malawi, who married a Swedish man, Mats Johansson.

Jumani’s father was not listed on his birth certificate and he was officially adopted. He changed his name to the present one on June 9 1978.

Deportations  under DPP

Deportations  flared during the DPP regime which included  that of British High Commissioner Fergus Cochrane-Dyet, and that of new Zambian President Michael Sata.

Sata was deported in 2007, before he became President of Zambia, when he entered Malawi to visit ex-President Bakili Muluzi. Government does not explain why it removed him, but it is instructive to note that Bakili Muluzi, whom Sata was aiming to visit, was not in the new Malawi leadership’s good political books.

In the case of former British High Commissioner Cochrane-Dyet,  the DPP government deported him doing precisely his job of explaining to the British Government the prevailing political situation in Malawi as he saw it. Unfortunately, the contents of his confidential cable to Her Majesty’s Foreign Office in London were exposed by Wikileaks.

The DPP government was not amused by his assessment of Mutharika whom Dyet had described as intolerant of criticism and autocratic.

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