Malawi govt challenges Joyce Banda on judicial review over warrant of arrest

Attorney General Charles Mhango has submitted to the High Court of Malawi to dismiss the application by  Malawi’s immediate-past president Joyce Banda asking the  court to nullify  the warrant of arrest issued by Police in connection with the country’s “Cashgate” corruption scandal, which involved large-scale looting of government coffers.

Joyce Banda: Wants judicial reveiew

Banda has been living in self-imposed exile since she lost to President Peter Mutharika in the 2014 election.

And last month national police spokesman James Kadadzera said a warrant of arrest was issued  againt Banda, saying  she is ” suspected of abusing her  office” in the Cashgate scandal.

Malawi Police said it had alerted Interpol [International Police] to help to bring her back home to answer the charges.

But the former president denies the allegations, she accuses the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration of persecuting her.

In an application to the High Court, Banda through one of her lawyers, Bright Theu, decisions of the magistrate court that issued the warrant and the Inspector General (IG) of Police are disproportionate and unreasonable.

Theu argues that the execution of the warrant would constitute an unjustifiable infringement the former president’s fundamental right to liberty and security of her person guaranteed under Section 18 of the Constitution.

“Grounds for seeking review on behalf of former President Joyce Banda are that we feel the State has taken measures that implicate her right to liberty and security as a person as well as to receive information that is held by the State. Such information is necessary for the exercise of her rights. We think that the warrant of arrest is unnecessary; it is a drastic measure. If the state wants her for any criminal proceedings, there is a better way of summoning her and she will be readily available to such proceedings by the State.

“In this case the day the warrant was published, she had, barely in the hours prior to that, called the State through one of the officials, indicating her desire to come back home. She was following up on her arrangements in terms of benefits as former President and then, hours later, there was a publication of this warrant of arrest. We see that she is someone who is readily available to avail herself to attend to any criminal proceedings,” Theu said.

However, on Wednesday September 20 Attorney General  asked Justice Rowland Mbvundula to dismiss the application by Banda.

“This is not a case fit for a judicial review,” said the government top lawyer.

But Theu argued that the   warrant of arrest is “unnecessary”, saying it is “a drastic measure.”

He said: “If the state want her to come, they should simply summon her and she will avail herself to attend to any criminal proceedings.”

Justice Mbundula has reserved his ruling to a later date.

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.

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Kupepela
Guest

As much as I dont care for Joyce Banda but I do agree with her on this issue, the government needs to stop intimidating people with false warrants of arrest the government is afraid of being embarrased because they did not only have the warrant of arrest but they implicated international agencies such as INTERPOL shame on the government they need to stop that!!!

#iamyournextpresident
Guest

what a good Lawyer Amayi has, Bright Theu is very good!! No need for this warrant of arrest.

CHAPONDA
Guest

LETS START WITH THE CHAPONDA ISSUE THEN THE BINGUGATE

santana
Guest

Mr Dinky,
Kodi mbava imadziyimba mlandu yokha? Amayi analephera bwanji kulowetsa mkhothi za 21b mukunenazo? For 2 yrs she just sat phwii lero ndiye mukuti adziyimbe yekha mlandu. Kumeneko ndiye kupepelako!!!!!!!

Kaloswe
Guest

The Warrant of arrest is valid because she is running way, Thief!!!

Mtendere malemia
Guest

musatinamize akumudzi its not malawi but DPP TIT FOR TAT

burton
Guest

Thus true

Chambe
Guest

You reap what you saw! If you don’t need the warrant, just come home and make yourself available. If not, then the warrant of arrest can be deemed justified.

dinky
Guest

MUYAMBE Y 61 BILLION IJA MUKATHANA NAYO IMENEYI IJA NDIYE MUWAFUFUZE MAYI WA MESA INUNSO NDI MBAVA KODI MUKUCHOSA CHISOSO CHA ANZANU BWANJI POMWE INU MUNAPAKULA KALE MUMPHIKA MO

Tenzi Mzungu
Guest

Yaa I agree no need for warrant of arrest just summon her to answer questions and from there make a decision. Someone is ill advising govt

wpDiscuz

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