Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara has written former president Joyce Banda, who is facing arrest in relation to multimillion-pound “Cashgate” corruption scandal, against disclosing any information she was privileged to access while serving as President of Malawi between April 2012 and May 2014.
In a letter dated June 21 2007 which has been widely circulating on social media after it was deliberately leaked by the Office of President and Cabinet, Muhara reminds the former Head of State on the need to adhere to the oath of secrecy that required both current and former presidents, members of Cabinet, current and retired to observe secrecy and confidentiality.
“I wish to highlight that the Oath of Secrecy that Your Excellency undertook when in office is still binding even after Your Excellency relinquished your duties as the President of the Republic of Malawi,” reads in part the letter.
It adds: “In view of this, I would like to respectfully remind Your Excellency to refrain from commenting in the media or diverging [sic – the right word should have been divulging] any information that Your Excellency were privileged to know while serving as President of the Republic of Malawi.”
Banda’s spokesperson Andekuche Chanthunya, said the office of the former president has received the letter and that Banda personally sought clarification from Chief Secretary on the meaning behind the letter.
Government spokesman Nicholous Dausi said similar letters were sent to former president Bakili Muluzi and other former vice presidents.
Meanwhile, Banda has denied any wrong doing in the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill known as Cashgate exposed under her watch in 2013.
“We have always maintained that that Dr Joyce Banda knows nothing about Cashgate and she doesn’t really have anything to say about it,” Chanthunya said.
Chanthunya insists Banda will soon come back to the country. She has not set foot in Malawi for three years now.
Banda insists that she has no regrets over her handling of the Cashgate affair in which civil servants, businessmen and politicians were put on trial accused of exploiting a loophole in the government’s payment system to divert millions into their own pockets.
The former president said she asked the British government to fund a forensic audit, made publicly available online, that revealed 13bn kwacha was stolen in three months during her administration. She also launched an investigation into Bingu wa Mutharika ’s last three years as president that uncovered the theft of a staggering K92bn .
The former president said she was warned that a crusade against corruption would ruffle feathers and make enemies, but she was determined to stay the course.
The scandal prompted Britain and other donors to freeze direct aid, which made up 40% of the national budget.
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