While we commend President Joyce Banda for the standing ovation she had at President Nelson Mandela’s funeral, we must express concern and utter disgust at how she deliberately misled the audience and the world at large concerning some events and realities at home in Malawi.
In her speech, she alleged that there were people in Malawi who were trying to prevent her from becoming President. Like President Mandela, she said that she had forgiven them and that she is working with them. This is completely untrue, as facts on the ground can tell.
The entire cabinet of Late Bingu, except Hon Prof Peter Mutharika, who was overcome by grief, attended a Cabinet Meeting which President Joyce Banda had called that Saturday afternoon i.e. April 7th. The death was officially announced in the morning of the same day.
At that meeting they all pledged to support and work with her. They also attended her inauguration later that same afternoon. They all continued to serve in her Cabinet loyally until she dropped some of them in Cabinet reshuffle weeks later.
This was normal Cabinet business and the affected persons expected it. Surprisingly, despite preaching unity, forgiveness, etc., she chose eight of the former Cabinet Ministers and the former Chief Secretary to Government for prosecution and indeed persecution in court.
There are openly defective charges of treason, mutiny, perjury, conspiracy to overthrow Government and so on against these innocent people. The conduct of these nine accused persons during and after the transition of power does not support the President’s allegation that these people or anyone else for that matter was preventing her from becoming President.
What is happening in court now are mere accusations and allegations. As a rule in all democracies, all the accused are innocent until proven otherwise. President Banda is acting and talking as if these accused persons have already been found guilty and that she has forgiven them. Worse still that she is working with them. This is all untrue.
Moreover, soon after taking over power, she went on to dismiss and fire many innocent public servants for no crime other than the fact that they served in her predecessor’s Government with commitment. Her PP Government is now paying dearly through court orders for these illegal dismissals.
This is not forgiveness as we all know it. Late Nelson Mandela could not have done such a thing. It was therefore completely untrue for her to say in her eulogy of Nelson Mandela that she had learnt forgiveness from the fallen statesman. We wish the world to know that she was not honest in what she said.
Dr Jean A Kalilani, MP
DEMOCRATIC PROGRESSIVE PARTY