Joyce Banda pours cold water on homecoming chants


The office of the former president Joyce Banda Thursday declared that the ex-leader’s homecoming will be delayed due to government’s failure to provide a secure and decent house for her.

Banda has been outside the country since September last year.

In a statement, Banda’s spokesperson, Andekuche Chanthunya, said in August this year the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development invited officials from her office to Lilongwe to identify a suitable house only to change their tune later.


“The exercise was jointly carried out by the ministry’s officials, officials from her office and His Excellency Chief Justice Richard Banda, RTD, the spouse of the former president. The house was indeed identified. However, one week ago, the Malawi government advised Her Excellency’s office that the house is no longer available.

“The office of the former president wishes to inform the nation that the Malawi Constitution provides for retirement benefits for the former Head of State and former Vice President. These include a salary, a house in a safe and secure place, and personal security detail. None of these have been accorded to Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda since she left office in May 2014,” Chanthunya said.

He then said Banda requests the government to respect and uphold the rule of law by providing her 17-month salary, transport, adequate personal security and a secure home.


“Many Malawians, in general, and Her Excellency’s family in particular, are even more concerned that recently, the Malawi government withdrew security apparatus from her private residence in June 2015.

“This happened while there is total breakdown of security in Malawi where senior officers of governance institutions, such as Mr. Issa Njaunju [Njauju] of ACB, are murdered and police officers are killed in broad daylight,” the statement reads.

Government spokesperson, Jappie Mhango, confirmed that government identified a house for Banda but her office refused the house, claiming it was not up to standard.

“When that happened, the government decided to engage the family in identifying the next house, which was identified. Unfortunately, when the government was about to pay for the house, the owner withdrew the offer opting to offer the house to an international organisation. That was sometime in August. As we speak, the two parties, that is the government side and her family side, are looking for the next house, suitable for the former Head of State,” Mhango said.

On Banda’s security detail, Mhango said government cannot provide security to somebody who is outside the country.

“It is interesting. All former leaders are in the country. The [Bakili] Muluzis, the [Justin] Malewezis, the [Cassim] Chilumphas are here and receiving their entitlements; it is only her who is always complaining. Let her come here and receive what she wants,” he said.

Mhango then said for a person to be introduced on the government’s payroll, there are requirements that they need to fill personally, wondering how Banda can fulfill such conditions while outside.

“She must come back and when she comes back she must complete all the necessary documentation for her to be on the payroll and receive all the arrears. She must stop complaining like a baby outside the country,” Mhango said.

In June this year, Banda said her husband, Richard Banda, who was in the country renovating their village home in preparation for her return, had written the international community, including the diplomatic community in Malawi, alerting them about the imminent danger that she faces.

In a statement that she released then, Banda cited the withdrawal of her security apparatus, accusations of attempted murder and killing of a sitting president and the CCTV footage allegations as a source of great concern.

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