9 August 2017

Malawi: Joyce Banda Dismisses 'Frivolous Charges' - Malawi Ex-President Says Arrest Warrant Is 'Smear Campaign '

Photo: Nyasa Times
Joyce Banda, former president of Malawi.

Former president Joyce Banda has dismissed an announcement by Malawi Police that they have an arrest warrant for her over a corruption scandal, known as cash-gate, during her time in office, saying it is a regime "smear tactics."

In issuing the arrest warrant for Banda, Malawi's police said they have "unearthed credible evidence" in connection with the $250m (£190m) cashgate corruption scandal which "raises reasonable suspicion that the former president committed offences relating to abuse of office and money laundering".

Banda is outside the country and the police said they have asked w Interpol for help in getting her to come home,.

But Banda said in a statement seen by Nyasa Times that the matter is ploy by the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to tarnish her name.

Banda, who is married to former Chief Justice Richard Banda, said she has "faith" in the Judiciary system and strongly believe that when the "frivolous charges" are eventually brought before he courts , "they will be dismissed with contempt they deserve."

Cashgate is the biggest financial scandal in Malawi's history and involved the loss of some $250m of state money.

Officials were accused of siphoning off the funds during the presidency of Banda.

In the statement, Banda said her lawyers have not seen the arrest warrant and that it is a smear tactic by the engine using Police.

"I have taken note of all attempts by various individuals and organisations and the ensuing political witchunt. Let me state that I reserve my rights to take appropriate action against these and any other individuals and groups bent on destroying my reputation," 'Banda said.

Government spokesman Nicholous Dausi said it is "inconceivable and mere fallacy" to claim that the arrest warrant is regime tactics for turninsh former president's image.

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