The incidents leading to the death of Malawiâ€™s former president Bingu wa Mutharika and the alleged coup dâ€™Ã©tat to deny the President from ascending to power are complicated issues, President Joyce Banda said at a press conference in Blantyre on Friday.
She was reacting to questions from journalists at Mudi Residence on the alleged role of the Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo in the alleged plot.
â€œIn the citing of events, names shall appear, that is why we have set up a commission of inquiry. I am eager as any other Malawian to know what happened,â€ Banda said.
The President clarified that there is one commission of inquiry to look at details such as whom Mutharika was meeting when he collapsed, the medical facility at State House and events that unfolded after his death, including meetings.
On the laws government has taken to Parliament to be repealed such as the one on same-sex marriages, Banda said such laws have generated heated debate in the country and that they are also archaic.
â€œMy hope is that the MPs will play their roles. What I have done is to list the laws that have been cited. Every Member of Parliament must debate this without any Joyce Banda in mind. And at the end of the day, everybody must accept the wishes of Malawians,â€ said Banda.
Meanwhile, Banda disclosed that government has set up a K25 billion export development fund to facilitate the expansion of Malawiâ€™s export base. Government is not ready to respond to demands by embattled Chief Justice Munlo who asked the Executive to substantiate charges that he was involved in a coup plot or make a public statement that the matter is closed.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General Ralph Kasambara in an interview Thursday said government was not expected to respond to the demands by the Chief Justice because the President said a commission of inquiry would be appointed.
Kasambara said: â€œThe President said she got this information [coup plot] in her official capacity from a Cabinet minister. She said she will set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the issue thoroughly.
â€œWe do not want to be seen as if we are witch-hunting. Government is concerned and would want to be fair.â€
President Joyce Banda alleged that Munlo and other judges, she did not name, were sitting at the house of the then minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Peter Mutharika, waiting for a court order to swear him in as President when his brother, the late president Bingu wa Mutharika, died on April 5 this year.
But lawyers for Munlo, Samuel Tembenu and Patrice Nkhono, published a statement on May 21, asking government to formally lodge and substantiate the charges before Judiciary Service Commission (JSC), and that if there was no intention to do so promptly, a public statement be issued that the matter is closed.
Asked to comment on the governmentâ€™s position that there was nothing it could do because the President is committed to set up a commission of inquiry, Tembenu on Thursday said their press statement said it all and they were not going to say anything anymore.