8 July 2019

Malawi: Mutharika Reacts to Uladi Ban - Malawi to Engage U.S. On Presidential Aide Visa

Photo: Nyasa Times
President Peter Mutharika and his Special Advisor Uladi Basikolo Mussa.

President Peter Mutharika through his spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani has said his government will be engaging the United States of America (USA) to appreciate why it has banned Mutharika's aide, Uladi Mussa, and his spouse for his alleged "involvement in significant corruption" for his service in Joyce Banda's administration six years ago and the decision has been made now.

President Mutharika with his aide and DPP vice president for Central Region, Mussa

Kaliani said the US ban is based in allegations while Mussa was sevring as minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security in 2013.

"Mussa has never served as Home Affairs minister in Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika 's administration," Kalilani pointed out.

He said Office of President and Cabinet would engage US Embassy on "government to government" on the matter that would "help both sides appreciate the decision's underlying issues and the merit therein."

US public affairs officer at the American Embassy in Lilongwe, Douglas Johnston, said US has cated "following credible information."

In a statement dated July 3 2019, the US Embassy in Lilongwe said Mussa's designation was made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations and Related Programs Act of 2019 which empowers the Secretary of State where there is "credible information that foreign officials have been involved in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights" to be ineligible for entry into USA. The ban extends to the officials' immediate family members.

Mussa, whom Mutharika on June 19 appointed as his special adviser of parliamentary affairs and also serves as governing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) vice-president for the Central Region, on Wednesday said he was surprised with the decision because the matter is not concluded in court.

Mussa, who said he did not plan to travel to the USA anytime soon, is answering charges of aiding about 55 foreign nationals from Uganda, Burundi and Rwanda to illegally obtain Malawian passports and business permits when he served as minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security in the Cabinet of former president Joyce Banda in 2013.

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