Those that were involved in the looting of public finances in the just-gone DPP administration should expect to account for it and not hide behind the call for forgiveness, Malawi President Joyce Banda said on Friday.
She also told the press in Lilongwe that the Malawi economy is in deep red and it requires close to $1 billion during the next 18 months.
â€œWe have a nation to run, we must work together, we must forgive each other, no revenge, but we have to look where did we go wrong. If you handled public resources wrongly, definitely you shall be answerable. You must be prepared to be accountable,â€ said Banda.
On the Cabinet ministers who met at night to usurp power from her, President Banda said the matter affected all Malawians and their choice of a democratic society.
â€œIt is not about me. Even myself I have not been told about the day my President died. Many of us are in the dark [as regards to] what happened in those days. It could happen again in future and posterity will look at what we did. So it is a matter of all Malawians that we know what happened,â€ said the President.
Banda, who addressed a press conference at Lilongwe State Lodge, also said left it to her, she would get rid of the controversial Presidential Jet, but said she would leave it to the Cabinet to decide its fate.
The President said Malawians should expect a tough road including bitter economic pills like devaluation as the country is moving towards resumption of the IMF programme and donor support.
â€œI have not yet got the total amount, but the figure that I am getting now is in the region of USD1 billion to be pumped into the economy for us to save it,â€ said the President who said her trips to Nigeria and South Africa sourced commitments to support both fuel and foreign exchange challenges.
She said while in Washington, Finance Minister Dr. Ken Lipenga was assured by IMF and World Bank that Malawi was willing to resume the programme and it was seeking support for social programmes to cushion the effects of the programme.
On the African Union, the President said she had written to the African Union to consider that President Al Bashir of Sudan should not attend the meeting, especially looking at the economic implications the matter has.
â€œIs it fair that Malawians should suffer at this moment on issues that we have nothing to do with? We lost the Millennium Challenge Account partly due to the same. Let the AU decide on his position, I have written them. He should forgive us this time as we are struggling to fix the economy,â€ said Banda.
On ministers in Cabinet facing criminal charges, the President said all people are assumed innocent until found guilty in a competent court of law, but said in some cases, people were paid up to K60 million to be witnesses.
The news conference was attended by Vice-President Khumbo Kachali, Foreign Affairs Minister Ephraim Mganda Chiume, and his deputy Racheal Mazombwe Zulu and Home Affairs Minister Uladi Mussa.