Embattled former president Joyce Banda, who is facing arrest, has reiterated her stand that she does not know anything to do with Cashgate, the plunder of public resources at Capital Hill, exposed under her watch in 2013.
Through her spokesperson Andekuche Chanthunya, Banda said yesterday the issue has been repeatedly spoken about and that she has made it clear that she played no role; hence, cannot say much.
In an interview yesterday, Chanthunya, who said Banda was yet to be served with the warrant of arrest, said it was surprising that police say they have evidence linking Banda to Cashgate as over the past three years, there has been no government agency that has tried to question her in relation to the alleged cases.
He said: “We have always maintained that Dr Joyce Banda knows nothing about Cashgate and she doesn’t really have anything to say about it. But we take it, it’s fine and we have no problem as long as they serve us [the warrant]. She will come back to the country and she will make herself available for these matters.”
Chanthunya further said a statement will be issued as to when Banda will come back to the country.
Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi, who is also the official government spokesperson, yesterday said it is a matter of the former president returning home and leaving out issues pertaining to her housing as People’s Party (PP) on Sunday claimed that she was given a home not worth her status as former president.
Her sentiments came in the wake of a warrant of arrest obtained in February but announced on Monday by the Malawi Police Service which said it has evidence linking Banda to abuse of the billions of kwacha.
However, in 2015, Malawi Law Society (MLS) and individual legal minds warned Banda against defending herself in public as it was premature that she starts making statements having not been formally charged.
The MLS warning came against the background of Banda defending her administration from an audit analysis concluding that Capital Hill failed to reconcile K577 billion in its cash books between 2009 and December 2014.
Banda said that prior to Cashgate, the K577 billion theft happened between 2009 and 2012 when former president the late Bingu Wa Mutharika was in charge, alleging that there must be a stubborn link between the K577 billion scam and Cashgate.
In an interview on Monday, PP interim leader Uladi Mussa said the party was also not aware of the warrant of arrest issued to Banda, fearing that the development could be motivated by something else other than Banda’s involvement in Cashgate. n