Unknown criminals broke into former president Joyce Banda’s private residence at Chintheche in Nkhata Bay on Friday night and went away with some items, police have confirmed.
Police Public Relations Officer (PRO), Ignatius Esau, told The Daily Times yesterday that 18 year old Rabson Phiri who works as a garden boy at the compound told them that on the night in question [April 8, 2016] he retired to bed with all entries to the yard sealed and secure.
“Upon waking up on Saturday morning, Phiri narrated that he was surprised to note that the gate was half open and upon checking further he realised that the rear door to the house was also open,” said Esau.
“When he went inside he discovered that the house was broken into since some items in the house were missing, that’s when he reported the matter to police,” he added.
According to Esau, the missing items include a duvet and a home theatre whose monetary value is yet to be established.
But Banda’s spokesperson, Andekuche Chanthunya, contradicted the police’s report on the missing items saying that their investigation reveals some electronic and physical documents in the house were also tampered with.
“It appears whoever went to steal was going through some papers and documents because we found the desktops in the house switched on, right now we can’t exactly say what has been stolen because there was lots of stuff in the house,” said Chanthunya in a telephone interview yesterday.
He then said the incident testifies of the security lapse in the country and further blamed government for removing the security detail of the former president.
“This is what we are talking about. Dr. Banda was deprived of her security detail and an official residence in Lilongwe, government through the President is failing to honour the Constitution on the privileges of the former head of State and yet he swore before the people that he will uphold and protect the supreme law of the land,” he explained.
Asked on whether the burglary sends a message to his boss to come back home and safeguard her property, Chanthunya said houses to several other senior government officials like Vice President Saulosi Chilima and Housing Minister Atupele Muluzi were broken into whilst they were in, arguing that the country is currently in a security mess.
“We will announce to the country when time is ripe for her to come back. Otherwise, it is high time government took responsibility of the security of its citizens whether they are in the country or abroad,” he added.
Soon after losing the presidential race in the 2014 tripartite elections, Banda left for South Africa on grounds that government failed to provide for her a descent home and adequate security personnel befitting a former head of State.
Both government spokesperson, Patricia Kaliati, and Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security, Jappie Mhango, could not be reached on several attempts to explain government’s position on Banda’s security and accommodation.
Meanwhile, the only watchman at the resident, 60 year old Numeri Mwale, is in the hands of the police for questioning. He hails from Ngalauka Village Traditional Authority Malanda in Nkhata Bay District.
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