Former president Joyce Banda, who withdrew her presidential bid to support Malawi Congress Party (MCP) presidential candidate Lazarus Chakwera , has accused the governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) administration for what she called "economic malaise and corruption".
Joyce Banda: DPP is a thieving government
Banda told a campaign rally at Njamba in Blantyre in the run up to the May 21 2019 Tripartite Elections that huge sums of money have been stolen in government during the DPP-led administration for the last five years.
She said K68 billion has been misappropriated at Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) alone.
"Anyambita [they have looted]," said Banda to the cheering crowds.
Banda said regime thieves and those involved in wrongful enrichment are being shielded and that it was only during her rule that top government officials were arrested on corruption charges.
She said: "We are aware that there is too much rot in the current administration. A lot of money has been stolen from various public bodies. The end result is the failure to address challenges in key social sectors such as health where even pregnant women are lacking water."
In her speech, Banda, who is also leader of People's Party (PP), urged Chakwera to make it a point to end urban and rural poverty.
"Our poverty alleviation measures include people in towns and villages. You should also remember the youth. Some of these boys are failing to marry because they have nothing," she said.
Besides Banda, former vice-president Khumbo Kachali of Freedom Party, also spoke in Chakwera's favour.
The MCP rally was held after Nkhoma Synod of the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) issues pastoral letter themed; An Opportunity to Choose a Leader With Good Reputation, Full of the Holy Spirit and Wisdom (Acts 6:3), read out in its 203 churches across the Central Region, which guided the flockto vote for a president who should be one that will respect the Constitution, has no record of corruption, will unify Malawians and will not protect thieves , mafias and looters of public resources.
Minister of Information and Communications Technology Henry Mussa, who is the official government spokesperson, told Zodiak Broadcasting Station,that he regretted that the message in the letter was one of the many that criticise the Mutharika administration unfairly.
He said Malawi has faced plunder of public resources perpetrated by predecessor regimes, including the 31 years of single party rule of MCP. He said DPP administration is currently prosecuting Cashgate suspects.
The Nkhoma letter has come two weeks after Bishop Martin Mtumbuka of Karonga Catholic Diocese challenged the electorate to free themselves from "this slavery and dehumanising poverty" by voting for leaders who can change the country's direction.