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Mist over Joyce Banda’s touted arrest

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There are doubts over the authenticity of the warrant of arrest that was reported to have been issued against the former head of State, Joyce Banda, by the Malawi Police Service (MPS) last week Monday.

Since the police issued a red notice to International Police (Interpol) last week, seeking her arrest on allegation that she misused her position, Banda is yet to be served with the warrant of arrest.

Through a press statement issued Tuesday, Banda described the development as a plot to tarnish her name, further disclosing that her lawyers have not seen the said warrant of arrest.

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“I have faith in our judiciary system and believe that when these frivolous charges are eventually brought before the courts, they will be dismissed with the contempt they deserve.

“I have taken note of all attempts to smear my name by various individuals and organisations and the ensuing political witch hunt. Let me state that I reserve my rights to take appropriate action against these and any other individuals and groups bent on destroying my reputation,” Banda said.

In his response, National Police spokesperson, James Kadadzera, said a warrant of arrest is issued on an individual who is wanted and not through anybody else.

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“The warrant of arrest cannot of law.

But some quarters have said government could have consulted many people on the issue.

Commenting on the development Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec) Executive Director, Benedicto Kondowe, has described this as a positive thing which will require all concerned people to have a substantive decision with sober minds.

“Although it is a good development, we suggest that a special commission should be instituted to lead any substantive discussions on the same. The focus now should be to analyse strengths and weaknesses of the constituent colleges with a view to determine the kind of structures each college would require,” Kondowe said.

He added: “Some quarters might oppose the development but change is inevitable. I urge all concerned people to put their interest on Malawians.”

When the debate started, Kondowe said unbundling Unima was the “best way to go”.

He said the plans may address several concerns including funding to Unima constituent colleges which will become separate universities if the plans materialise and that suspicions of politicising Unima Central Office might be dealt with.

Plans to unbundle the Unima have been met with resistance from a number of stakeholders, after the Public Service Reforms Commission raised the issue.

Some officials within the rank and file of Unima argued that if it materialises, the arrangement would be costly as each of the four colleges would need its own vice-chancellor and council, among other things.

Mutharika publicly talked about the issue three years ago when Unima commemorated its 50th anniversary where he promised that he would not frustrate views of those seeking that their constituent colleges

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