Khumbo ‘stay away’ as JB claims to be graft destroyer

President Joyce Banda’s want-away deputy Khumbo Kachali  has been shunning presidential functions of late with the latest being rallies the Malawi leader has been addressing unlike the past when he was accompanying his boss everywhere.

On Sunday, President Banda addressed a political rally at Mazengera Primary School in Lilongwe where she gave out 15 cows to 15 beneficiaries, and distributed 1,000 bags of maize to families affected by hunger.

Kachali – who is still contesting as a parliamentarian in his home Mzimba under the PP ticket – was no show at the rally.

But Banda was accompanied by her running mate in May 20 elections, Minister of Trade Sosten Gwengwe.

President Banda and her running mate on Sunday in Lilongwe
President Banda and her running mate on Sunday in Lilongwe

When she unveiled Gwengwe, President Banda said she left out Kachali because their union was a two-year contract to finish former president the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s term.

In her speech at the rally, Banda patter herself on the back for what she claimed achieving economic growth and launching a crackdown on graft and wrongful self-enrichment.

Banda said although she had inherited depleted coffers from her predecessor, late Bingu wa Mutharika, she had managed to steer the Malawi economy to the point whereby the country’s import cover which she found at one week was now at two months, with US$400 million in reserve.

“We also want to make sure the import cover should be three months,” she said.

President Banda also said she was the only president who had seriously waged an all-out war against corruption. She stressed that she would not shield anybody implicated in the on-going investigations regarding the looting of public funds at Capital Hill.

“Regarding Cash-gate I am saying we should not just concentrate on the K13 billion which was stolen from 2012 to 2013. Let us also probe, and bring to book those who stole K92billion during the three years before I took over,” she said.

Banda who pleaded innocent from any link to the cashgate, said she also needed names in the just released forensic audit report on the looting.

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