LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The former ruling People’s Party (PP) through its Spokes person Ken Msonda, has laughed off the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) led government’s calls that former President Joyce Banda must return home.Msonda was reacting on what Agriculture Minister George Chaponda told the nation on Monday that the DPP government would not persecute Banda and that she was free to come back home.
Chaponda’s remarks came immediately after he privately met United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon on Sunday at Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) in the capital Lilongwe.
George Chaponda rushed to meet UN Chief Ban at Kamuzu International Airport where the UN Chief’s plane was forced to land to refuel his plane enroute to South Africa where he was attending a conference. During the meeting, the two discussed two issues namely Joyce Banda’s continued self imposed-exile and the humanitarian support on the country’s food crisis.
“The meeting with UN SG was basically on two things. Firstly it was on former president Dr. Joyce Banda who is currently residing in the USA.
“So, we assured Mr. Ban Ki-moon that government was not persecuting anybody and that the former president can return home anytime. We are a country which is not hunting anybody and the former president has nothing to fear,” said Chaponda.
But in an exclusive interview with The Maravi Post on Wednesday, Msonda described the remarks as primitive, cheap and childish politics.
The PP Spokesperson said JB continued stay abroad was not as result of fear but rather that she is tied up with international assignments.
He therefore advised the DPP led government to spend its energies on fixing the ailing economy than wasting time with Banda’s private life.
“This is laughable. Who told them that Dr. Joyce Banda is not free to come back home? Who told them she is afraid to come? That’s primitive, cheap and childish politics. Let the DPP administration find solutions to fix the economy instead of wasting their energy on petty issues.
“Malawians are suffering; eating grasshoppers and mice. Albinos are being killed, businesses are closing and yet DPP administration is clueless on how to address these challenges. Who told Mr. Chaponda that Dr. Joyce Banda fled the country and that she is afraid to come back?
“Just because Mr. Chaponda and other senior members of DPP officials were akapilikoni who fled this country soon after we attained independence and spent years in self exile only to return home after multiparty democracy, he thinks Dr. JB also fled this country? That’s being uncivilized, cheap propaganda and childish,” challenged Msonda.
But Dr. Joyce Banda is on record telling the nation that she would not return home because the governing DPP threatened to arrest her. She also complained that government was yet to give her a house and security details as provided by the law.
Following her 2014 tripartite elections loss to the incumbent President Peter Mutharika, Banda has been living outside the country.