Pres Banda knows the kind of accusations that would be made against her but political correctness will not do Malawi any good, MaraPost’s Chief Political Correspondent reports
MZUZU--Pres Joyce Banda says any corrupt official who served during the Mutharika administration will not be spared just because the individual is from a particular ethnic group.
Banda was speaking at Euthini in Mzimba when she closed the Peoples Party campaign for Mzimba Central bye-election scheduled for Tuesday.
"The problem is that when you investigate this one, you find the money was taken by the other one. The problem is that they all met at night but come from one tribe and someone thinks they should not be arrested," said Banda.
Banda, whose cash-strapped government wants to convince donors it’s serious about getting rid of corruption, said everyone who participated in the looting of state funds will not be spared.
"Does anybody expect that I shouldn’t arrest people from Nkhata Bay but those from Rumphi?” she said. “That’s not how justice works."
Banda, who was Malawi’s vice president until April, came to power following the sudden death of Pres Bingu wa Mutharika who after winning reelection in 2009 adopted controversial policies.
One policy he was heavily criticized for was the promotion of people from his Lomwe ethnic group as he tried to consolidate his grip on power. Using nepotism, top government positions and those in national security – police and military - were given to Lomwes and Mutharika went further to anoint his younger brother, Peter, as his successor.
It was Banda’s refusal to endorse Mutharika’s succession plan which led to her expulsion from the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) which accused of her forming parallel structures.
But after her expulsion from DPP, Banda, who was Mutharika’s running mate in the 2009 elections and was expected to be the party’s torch bearer in 2014, remained the country’s vice president and went on to form the People’s Party which is now in power.
After she was inaugurated as president to finish the remainder of Mutharika’s term, some of his supporters, unhappy with Banda’s appointments, accused her of going after Lomwes.
Jane Kandodo, a political observer, wonders: “If there were more Lomwes in prominent positions than people from other groups, how does one expect the president to remove a person who is not Lomwe? I thought that was common sense.”
© The Maravi Post 2012. Reproduction without acknowledgement prohibited