Some immigration officers at Chileka International Airport (CIA) in the commercial capital Blantyre have been re-assigned to other border posts across the country for reportedly allowing former President Joyce Banda to hold a press briefing there in VVIP lounge.
Banda held a press briefing at the airport where, among others, she told the media that the owners of the party—supporters—will decide her political destiny.
However, days after her return, officers manning the airport have been moved as way of “punishing” for allowing the former head the privilege.
But in an interview, immigration department publicist, Joseph Chauwa, while confirming the development, said the transfers were normal.
“The transfers have nothing to do with Joyce Banda,” said Chauwa.
He added: “Transfers are purely administrative and not only Chileka [International Airport] has been affected. As a security organisation, it is normal to have officers rotated from time to time.”
Chauwa said the immigration department is never involved in the management of the VIP lounge and that they never be responsible for what happens there.
“The department is there to clear travellers and this includes those using the VIP lounge. That is all,” he said.
Banda returned home after what many called a self-inflicted “exile,” but she has dismissed the claims saying she was in the United States of America (USA) for a number of assignments in her capacity as a former head of state.
Her relationship with the current leader, Peter Mutharika, has been stale. Banda actually told journalists days ago that she has “not spoken” to Mutharika since 2012