Two months after former Malawi president Joyce Banda reminded State House that some of her items are still at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre and that she wants to collect them, she is yet to get a response.
State House says more patience is needed as the process takes a bit long.
After losing the May 20 Tripartite Elections, Banda vacated State residences, but some of her items remained behind.
Her household director Cecilia Kumpukwe wrote the then acting chief secretary to government Willie Samute, telling him about the items and requesting to collect the same.
“I have the honour to inform you that the personal effects of the former president, Her Excellency Dr. Joyce Banda were not collected from State residences during vacation of the former president of the Republic of Malawi.
“The items were not collected due to delay in the provision of transport to ferry the items and also bureaucracy in security clearance. I will, therefore, be grateful if the State residences can avail the personal effects to the residence of the former president or allow access staff of the former president to identify the said items,” wrote Kumpukwe on August 12 2014.
But Banda’s personal assistant Andekuche Chanthunya yesterday said the items have not been collected yet.
“We are yet to receive the items. Even the letter that we wrote has not been responded to and we are still waiting,” said Chanthunya.
He said the items were not forgotten, but that when the second consignment was about to be collected, after the first one, there was change of security.
“The first consignment was taken, but when the vehicle went for the second one, it was stopped because they said they were changing security guards. But up to now, there is no response,” said the personal assistant.
State House press secretary Frederick Ndala said more time is needed to sort out the issue as it is not only Banda’s items that are still in State residences.
“State House is also keeping some items belonging to (another former president) the late Bingu wa Mutharika and these have to be identified.
“Another challenge is proper distinction between items the former president received as personal property or as State president. The Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) is still working on that and the issue will be sorted out soon,” said Ndala, who could not give the exact time.