As President Joyce Banda is propping up her image using London based reputation management from Belll Pottinger, she still faces scrutiny in the local media with the recent report that the ruling People’s Party (PP) vehicles – almost 30 -are registered in Banda’s name except 11.
Malawi’s leading weekly newspaper, Weekend Nation reported that some of the vehicles in Banda’s name are BS 3176, BS 3167, BS 3188, BS 3190, BS 3191, BS 3239, BS 3228, BS 3142, BS 31 88, BS 3171, BS 3173 and BS 3174.
The paper added that most of these vehicles are bought from franchise dealers.
It has been in public domain that about 22 vehicles for PP were donated by Osward Lutepo who has been charged with money laundering in connection to the Capital Hill financial scandal, christened cashgate.
“It is regrettable that we could have well-wishers on the list of those involved in the cash gate scandal. Considering that the matter of cashgate is still in court and under investigation, therefore let us not speculate the involvement of well-wishers in the same,” PP deputy spokesman Ken Msonda is quoted saying.
The daily solicited comments from University of Malawi political analysts on the development.
Chancellor College-based political scientist Dr Boniface Dulani said : “Political parties should be defined by their policy platforms, ideologies, rather than by the names of their leaders.
“Under the current scenario, political parties only exist to the extent that their leaders are alive and politically relevant. Unfortunately, ownership of resources such as vehicles, buildings, by the party leader, only perpetuates this tendency.”
While another political scienticist Henry Chingaipe noted that “it pleased the registered owner (Joyce Banda) of the vehicles not to donate the vehicles completely to the party. Instead she granted rights of use of the vehicles to party functionaries and supporters.”
But Msonda said PP believes that “well-wishers” support them because “we are the best avenue through which they can channel that which they want to benefit the public.”