Former president of Malawi Joyce Banda, returning this weekend to the nation after four years in exile, says she has documentation from Interpol to prove she is not under investigation in the country’s “Cashgate” scandal.
Banda made the comment during a rally Sunday in Zomba attended by thousands of People’s Party supporters and well-wishers who gathered to hear her speak. She was expected to hold another rally in Blantyre, but told reporters she was resting while in her home region in the eastern part of Malawi.
Banda, who plans to resume her duties as party chief, said she wants to acclimate to the political landscape before making a decision about again running for office – a possibility for 2019 that PP spokesman Andekuche Chantunya made public back in February.
She left Malawi in 2014 after the presidential election went to current President Peter Mutharika, and has not returned since though she has maintained a high profile in international public policy circles.
Malawi’s national police service issued an arrest warrant for Banda last July, and announced they had found “credible evidence” of Banda’s suspected involvement in a corruption scandal that erupted during her 2012-2014 administrative tenure. The “Cashgate” saga began in 2013 with the shooting of former National Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo, which helped to unravel the $32 million fraud scandal.
Dozens of politicians, contractors and civil-service workers were charged in connection with Cashgate, some of whom have claimed Banda was fully aware of the money laundering and other financial crimes that led to the arrests, including those of cabinet-level ministers and party officials.
The Malawi Police Service said last week that the Cashgate-related arrest warrant was still valid, casting a question on what will happen next.
Image: People’s Party