Editorial CommentOpinion & Analysis

Why is the DPP so obsessed with shutting up Joyce Banda?


Within a period of three months, Secretary to the President and Cabinet Lyold Muhara has written former president Joyce Banda on the same subject of warning and reminding her about the oath of secrecy he claims she took to keep government secrets.

The communication ostensibly to make it a bit credible and thereby parry away suggestions that she is being picked on, has also been sent to the former president Bakili Muluzi and former vice presidents Justin Malewezi, Cassim Chilumpha and Khumbo Kachali.

We do not need to study rocket science for us to fathom that the main target of the vile warning is Joyce Banda and the explanation that Minister of Information Nicholas Dausi is proffering to the effect that the target is not her does not make sense to us.


The question that the minister should have addressed so that Malawians make heads or tail out of this is; why is the DPP government so obsessed with shutting up the mouth of Joyce Banda?

What is it that the DPP government thinks Joyce Banda has in her head that it is so afraid it must not come out?

A legal scholar at Chancellor College Professor Edge Kanyongolo is very clear that the supreme law of the land, which is the Constitution, does not prescribe an oath of secrecy for presidents.


We can add that we know that presidents are sworn into office publicly at Kamuzu Stadium and none of them take any oath of secrecy. The main thrust of the oath is that the presidents pledge to do good to all manner of Malawians and vow to defend and protect the Constitution.

As far as we know, it is only Cabinet ministers who take oath of secrecy and perhaps it is these who Muhara must write and the warning letters should go to all former ministers since 1964 when Malawi became an independent country.

At the end of the day this saga does little to assuage the notion that the DPP government is bent on perpetuating a culture of secrecy to hide its shenanigans from the Malawian people who put it into power.

This can only be disappointing and disheartening, especially coming now at a time when Parliament just put into law Access to Information as a human right that all must enjoy.

It, after all, adds credibility to the claims that the DPP government did not want the law passed but it was merely shoved down its throat hence its dilly dallying to effect its operationalisation.

The DPP obsession with Joyce Banda is just too much and unhealthy for our democracy.

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