Former president Joyce Banda received a tumultious welcome as she returned home Saturday from four-year absence with police failing to execute their much publicised “ghost” warrant of arrest .
Thousands of elated supporters clad in orange attire, colours of the Peoples Party, the party she founded, broke a wire fence at Chileka Airport and surrounded the South African Airways plane she boarded.
Donning the Peoples Party attire, Banda smiled and looked jovial as she waved to her supporters before holding a news conference.
“Amani (mother) is here, give us the signal on 2019 electionsthe lights ,” the crowd chanted.
Banda, who led the country from 2012 to 14, was Malawi‘s first female president.
She said the reason she left for the US was to give “space” for her successor to govern, and to do research at a university there.
Banda was vague on whether she would get back to politics, saying she needed to get abreast of the current political trends.
She also claimed she does not know about her warrant of arrest in connection with the K30bn cashgate.
“I have not seen it…nobody has told me about it. I have not been served with the warrant of arrest,” she said.
She was set to address a political rally on Sunday.
Andekunye Chanthunya, Banda’s spokesperson, said Banda was not concerned about the arrest warrant issued by police.
James Kaledzera, a police spokesperson, declined to say if Banda would be arrested, though he confirmed a warrant issued last July remained valid.
Earlier this year, the Malawi Anti-Corruption Bureau said it had no solid evidence against her.
According to Ajazeera, Wallace Chawawa, a PP legislator, said of Banda’s return: “This will definitely rejuvenate the party … The vacuum has been filled.”
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