Malawi’s Joyce Banda says not doing ‘Mutharika style’ of self-enrichment

Malawi President Joyce Banda has said she is not on self-enrichment like her predecessor late Bingu wa Mutharika, challenging her critics to investigate her should they think she is amassing wealth from the public purse.

Former president Mutharika accumulated more than K61 billion (about $152m) in a short period when his assets were valued around K150 million when he had just assumed power in 2004.

Speaking in the capital, Lilongwe on Tuesday after laying a foundation stone for the Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC) and Henan Gouji Corporation of China joint housing project, Banda said she is clean.

“I am challenging those who think that I am amassing wealth to go and check wherever they can to see if they can find evidence,” said President Banda, a devout  Christian.

The First Couple: Clean
The First Couple: Clean

“We saw it for ourselves right here that no matter how much wealth one accumulates, when death comes, you leave everything behind,” she said in apparent reference to the Bingu’s hidden billions.

“Now you have started hearing from the media that money that was taken out of this country, while we were in poverty. I will not let you suffer,” Banda said.

But in comments in the press,  political analysts said  the President should declare her assets.

“At this stage, it is difficult to start investigating her as if there is something that has happened, the president should just do the right thing by declaring her assets,” said University of Malawi’s political analyst  Mustapha Hussein.

“The way to go is to take heed of the calls by the people to disclose her property. There are laws that require the president to declare her assets,” he said.

However, another University of Malawi political professor  Blessings Chinsinga said:  “We have a constitutional provision that requires a president to declare assets.We also have departments like Financial Intelligence Unit that investigates people if they have a lot of money in their accounts.”

Meanwhile, Moses Mkandawire,  told reporters  in Mzuzu on behalf of three civil society organisation such as National Integrity Platform, the Livingstonia CCAP Synod’s Church and “the whole political leadership should be closely monitored.”

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