Appoint inquiry commission—Goodall

DPP first vice-president Goodall Gondwe has joined others in asking President Joyce Banda to appoint a commission of inquiry on circumstances surrounding the death of her predecessor and an alleged coup plot.

The former minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Environment and, who chaired the two ministerial meetings on Friday April 6, 2012 convened to discuss and plan succession plans to the presidency following the death of Mutharika, argued at the weekend that most media stories on the issue bordered on distortions of the truth.

Gondwe’s call also comes at a time Banda and the Malawi Law Society (MLS) have expressed the need to institute investigations into circumstances around the transition. An MLS meeting on Thursday also resolved to investigate the same.

Banda, speaking to journalists at her Mtunthama residence in Lilongwe on Friday morning, also hinted she wants an investigation into alleged attempts by some Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) ministers and government officials to prevent her from ascending to the presidency.

“Until today, nobody has told me formally what transpired, but individual ministers who were involved in the plan revealed to me what was going on,” Banda said.

But Gondwe, in the interview, claimed the Cabinet meetings were discussing succession plans and DPP planned to engage the courts to resuscitate the constitutional referral matter that was started by the late Mutharika.

Gondwe said the then attorney general, who he said was present at the meeting, was very frank and advised them that what the ministerial meeting was planning was against the laws, but others decided to resolve President Banda’s ascendancy to the presidency politically.

Gondwe also denied the alleged involvement of Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo and other judges in the said coup plot.

Banda told The Guardian last week that she was officially informed about attempts to torpedo her ascendancy to the presidency by DPP members in collusion with the Judiciary, including Munlo, an allegation he has refused to comment on.

Gondwe also argued the decision to fly President Mutharika to South Africa was a family idea and not intended to buy time for DPP to effect a coup as was being suggested by some quarters.

The former Energy minister suggested that unless the President appoints a commission of inquiry on the transition matters, the country would be burying some important issues.

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