Zambian ex-First Lady 'illegally' invests in Malawi

Zambia’s former First Lady and wife to defeated former president Rupiah Bwezani Banda is being accused by her country of siphoning billions of money and invested in Malawi.

The former First Lady, Thandiwe Banda who is alleged to be a multi billionaire is accused of hugely acquiring and owning major properties ranging from houses, classy and luxurious motor vehicles, various buildings which includes hotels and lodges.

Nyasa Times understands that Zambian authorities wants to get hold of her Malawian property and sell to recover back money government’s which they believe was illegitimately invested in the neighbouring country.

Malawi and Zambia has sour relationship after President Bingu wa Mutharika’s government declared Zambian president Michael Sata person non grata when he visited Malawi in 2007.

Thandiwe Banda: Invested in Malawi

President Sata demanded an apology over his deportation but Malawi government has since lifted revocation.

According to a report published in Tumfweko online publication allege that the Zambian former first lady has invested property in excess of five billion Zambian Kwacha in Malawi.

Tumfweko quoted sources who disclosed to them that  Thandiwe Banda swiftly acquired her wealth within the three years her husband  was in power.

Nyasa Times however could not immediately establish where the former Zambian First lady has invested her property in Malawi.

The publication further discloses that, Mrs Banda also bought a lavish and luxurious Hotel in Tanzania at $1.2 Million and another in Lusaka, Mpundu Trust Flats in woodlands as part of the many properties she owns.

“As you get in Chipata town, there is a nice Hotel being owned by Thandiwe. It is amazing how money pops up in a short while and owns such huge property,” the publication quoted a source.

According to publication the former First Lady Thandiwe, is a teacher by profession, and that once she played as a ‘ghost worker’ when she was still first lady.

In 2009, then opposition politician and now Zambian president Michael ‘King Cobra’ Sata declared publicly that he had in his possession Thandiwe’s pay-slip dated July 9, 2009.

“People are so upset about what is going on in Zambia; they came to me wanting to embarrass the President (Rupiah Banda) more because they think politicians are not doing enough. They sent me a pay slip for the First Lady (Thandiwe) who is still getting pay as a teacher. This came from Ministry of Education,” Sata was quoted a local newspaper back in 2009.

The pay slip was dated 9th July 2009, from Nyakutwa Middle Basic School, and Nyakutuwa in Chipata District, and was in the name of Madam Thandiwe Chilongo Banda, the former First Lady.

A payslip which Nyasa Times has sourced belonging the former First Lady was still considered an active full time employee and received a net salary of K1, 541,892.74 for July, 2009 years after she stopped working as a teacher. Her employee No. is 11801 while the NRC No. 464544/52/1.

Young First Lady

Thandiwe Banda was last year one the five Africa’s youngest First ladies who at married a man almost twice her age.

Featuring on BBC Network Africa programme, Thandiwe, 39, last year disclosed to BBC’s Veronica Edwards in an exclusive interview she is not bothered about the wide age difference between her and former Zambian President Rupiah Banda, 74, emphasizing that age to her wasn’t an issue but love.

“We met through his extended grandchild. I was doing her hair and then one day she said, ‘you need to finish my hair. I need to see my grandfather and stuff like that.’ So when we went to the farm, that time he was in Chipata, we went to his farm in Chipata and I just said, ‘hello! Hello,'” Thandiwe to the BBC last year.

She narrated: “After doing her hair, he dropped me home where I was staying with my brother and then he asked about what I was doing. So I said, ‘I was a teacher in Chiparamba’. That was his home village. I then told him that I also go to school. That time I was also doing distance learning at  Chalimbana in Lusaka. So he said, ‘oh! I have a house in Lusaka. Maybe one day I will come and visit you when you are at school in Chalimbama.’ We visited and from there this is where we ended.”

Other First Ladies to have married older men in the highest office are Zimbabwe’s Grace Mugabe whose is age almost half to that of the Zimbabwean leader.

Malawi’s First Lady Callista is also relatively young to her president husband Bingu wa Mutharika, she is in her early Fifty’s while Mutharika is in his late seventies.

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