Malawi President’s death threat a national security crisis – Commentator

A renowned local political analyst, Dr Henry Chingaipe, feels claims by the Malawi President Joyce Banda that she is receiving death threats from anonymous people is another catastrophe dogging the administration of the Southern Africa’s first female president.

The University of Malawi (UNIMA) Political lecturer has described the allegations as very unusual as they suggest that no Malawian is safe.

Last Friday, speaking during the Nation Day of Prayers in Blantyre, the Malawi leader came into the open to claim that she was receiving death threats from unknown people over her uncovering of high-level fraud scandal that forced her to dissolve the cabinet.

The claim was first told to the nation by government spokesperson, Brown Mpinganjira, who is also Minister of Information, during a media conference in the capital Lilongwe.

Chingaipe: Who is safe then?
Chingaipe: Who is safe then?

“President Banda has been receiving death threats. Some of the threats have come from outside the country,” Mpinganjira told reporters in October last year.

But Chingaipe wondered how the President was receiving death threats because there was nothing her government was doing to fight corruption.

However, he said if indeed it was true that the whole president of a nation was receiving death threats then it meant nobody was safe in Malawi.

“Personally, I think there isn’t much that President Joyce Banda and her government is doing in the fight against corruption to warrant some people to issue her threats. It is, therefore, strange to hear that some people are issuing death threats to the president.

“I mean, if the whole president is receiving death threats from unknown people, how safe are we-and how are these people sending these threats to the president,” Chingaipe a governance and development specialist  told Zodiak Broadcasting Service.

Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Uladi Mussa, has since said police were treating the threats with seriousness.

“Certainly, the police is doing something about this, but I can’t tell you what we’re doing exactly,” said Mussa.

Banda’s ruling People’s Party is accused of siphoning off state funds from the national purse to bankroll the party’s election campaign, a charge it denies.

The Malawi President  has since vowed to continue the fight against graft, floating the idea of special corruption tribunals and saying a forensic audit under way by British experts would help reveal the extent of graft.

Banda admitted she took a “political risk” in launching a major fight against corruption ahead of elections in May.

In late 2013 Banda dissolved her entire cabinet, sacking four ministers, amid allegations top government officials embezzled millions of taxpayer dollars.

“The fight against corruption must come first, winning elections comes second to me,” she said at a national prayer meeting.

“I took a political risk to launch a fight against corruption five months before the elections.”

Banda, previously vice president, came to power in 2012 following the sudden death of president Bingu wa Mutharika.

In the May 20 vote she faces three prominent male contenders Atupele Muluzi of UDF, Lazarous Chakwera of MCP, including Peter Mutharika, a brother of the late president.

Peter Mutharika was accused of trying to usurp the constitution and Banda’s succession in a plot that involved keeping his brother’s death secret for days by flying his body around Africa.

He is answering treason charges.

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