By Nancy Mpinganjira
Well, the Malawian political landscape keeps getting more interesting day by day.
Recently, Ephraim Nyondo, Enlightened Gathering Church (ECG) of Prophet Shepherd Bushiri’s Communication Director (because, yes, he needs a Communications Director), announced on his Facebook Page that ‘the cat is out of the bag’ and that ‘a huge, earth-shaking announcement is due to take place next week’.
Interestingly, one of the people who liked this post is Ralph Kasambara, (former Attorney General and Justice Minister), who accessorily is also a convicted criminal (for conspiracy to murder former Budget Director Paul Mphwiyo in a case dating back to 2013), whose appeal is still pending.
Kasambara’s colourful trajectory does not stop here. He is now alleged to be United Transformation Movement (UTM’s) legal advisor… (even though he vehemently denies it). Well, now the UTM did not look hard enough to find one, did they?
WHAT IS THE CONNECTION?
When Bushiri decided to leave Malawi during Joyce Banda’s tenure, in order to live his South African dream, he had virtually no capital, he only had a small church and a handful of followers.
Then suddenly, Bushiri became a celebrity, money was flowing in from every side and Bushiri actually became a billionaire.
Maybe it’s his prayers or his… evidently close relationship to God but what appears more likely is that Banda transferred some Cashgate proceeds to Bushiri, either to launder that money, to conceal it or even…to invest it. And let’s all admit it; The man of God, Bushiri turned out to be a very profitable investment for her.
It is a common secret in the political corridors that during Banda’s ‘reign’ in Malawi, Bushiri, Kasambara and Banda made a deal.
They concocted a financial scheme, as a means to hide Cashgate proceeds, to launder it and to ultimately invest it. Insiders claim that Banda and her acolytes devised a cash-based system to run the Cashgate affairs; Banda would send instructions with a signature bag (like ‘compliments from the President’), so as to prove that the instructions were from her, indeed.
The money was then dispatched or kept safe (and hidden) according to orders. Safe to say that they all benefited handsomely from this deal. Bushiri became an overnight celebrity billionaire, Kasambara somewhat bought his freedom, and Banda was bemoaning her fate… in fancy places, away from Malawi.
Here is a candid snapshot of the good old times, when Banda, Bushiri and Kasambara were looting the State’s coffers. Well, they do look happy, don’t they?
Cashgate Proceeds Ready for Dispatch: Chilima and Banda story
So, it is not a leap of thought to assume that something is currently in the works. It is hard to believe that the meeting between Chilima and Banda took place only because they share the same vision regarding the future of Malawi.
Incidentally, Chilima’s mother and Banda were long-time friends, since their days at Providence Secondary School in Mulanje. Rumor has it that that ahead of the 2014 elections, Banda was actually grooming Chilima for her running mate but the latter refused, to all appearances, because it was evident that Banda was not going to succeed.
But their erstwhile defunct political romance seems to be rekindled nowadays, mainly because Chilima realized the he -too- could have access to the loot procured by Joyce Banda and others during the Cashgate, in the pursuit of his presidential aspirations.
On this note, it should come as no surprise that Chilima recently defended Banda on corruption allegations leveled against her following the massive looting during her tenure. There is definitely something there.
So, is the trio Bushiri, Banda, Kasambara up to something? It appears that the UTM is more than willing to join forces with them. Then again, the UTM is so desperate nowadays, that it would be more than willing to join forces with anyone pretty much!
Especially those who have US$$$$$ in their pockets. Ephraim Nyondo’s Facebook post is definitely indicative of an ‘earth-shaking’ collaborative venture. Only time will tell.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are not necessarily the views of the Publisher or the Editor of Maravi Post