President Peter Mutharika has said several former heads of state have written him seeking clarification that his administration is persecuting past leader Joyce Banda.
Speaking to state television MBC on Tuesday evening during new program, “Talk to the President”, Mutharika said he has already responded to the queries, saying Banda is free to return home.
“I have responded to them, they can privately investigate if there is any form of persecution,” said Mutharika during the program.
Mutharika however conceded that Banda and him were not in talking terms, saying last time the two spoke to each other was in April 2012 soon after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika.
Banda recently wrote foreign missions in Malawi that she fears for persecution in Malawi hence her stay abroad.
The former president claimed she has credible information that she faces politically inspired arrest upon her arrival in Malawi and even an attempt to her life.
But Mutharika said he has personally extended an “olive branch” to the former head of state on several occasions, adding the goodwill gesture still remains.
On Mutharika’s offer of an “olive branch” Banda recently reacted that s late Yasser Arafat, who was Palestinian President once said: ‘I come bearing an olive branch in one hand, and the freedom fighter’s gun in the other. Do not let the olive branch fall from my hand.’
Banda said this was a serious quote with hostile connotations. During his inauguration, President Mutharika made almost a similar declaration about me.
“I take serious exception to the President’s ‘extension of the olive branch’ because he has never attempted to reach out to me if he were indeed to talk about reconciliation.
“Within the six hours of his being declared winner, my official cars were withdrawn. I woke up at six o’clock in the morning without any car. In his inauguration speech, President Mutharika started by castigating me. I have ignored all this and I have told myself and all Malawians that a country can only have one leader at a time and that as a country, we must move together into the future.
“Since I left office in May 2014, I have not uttered any single word to denigrate Professor Peter Mutharika; On the contrary, I have endured untold political persecution and abuse in the past year,” she said.
MBC’s ‘Talk to the President’ is a new program – be broadcast once every month – where different questions concerning Malawians across the country are forwarded to Mutharika to address them.
Some of the critical issues have been raised by the Catholic Commission for Justice and Peace (CCJP), accusing government of having misplaced priorities and “cooking” macroeconomic indicators as well as failing to adequately finance the public service and ensure security for the citizenry.
In a statement released on Monday on Contemporary Socio-Economic and Political Context, CCJP argues that Malawi is slowly becoming a nation full of anxiety, becoming entrenched into poverty, and apart from forgetting peace, it is slowly sliding into disrespecting the sanctity of human life.
On micro-economic indicators, CCJP said growing levels of poverty, desperation, hunger and shrinking public service delivery that are untimely and compromise on quality contradict “hopeful” government macro–economic indicators.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :