Malawi Former president Joyce Banda is in Botswana to lead the African Union (AU) Observer Mission for that country’s 11th general elections scheduled to be held on Saturday.
AU mission coordinator Chika Aniekwe said in a telephone interview from Gaborone, Botswana that Malawi’s former leader was leading a team of 35 trained AU observers from various African countries.
He said the observers have been drawn from the Pan-African Parliament (PAP), African Ambassadors to the AU, election management bodies, human rights institutions and civil society organisations (CSOs).
Banda arrived in Botswana on October 20 and is expected to leave the country next Wednesday.
Since her arrival in that country, she has been meeting different electoral stakeholders such as presidential candidates and leaders of political parties.
Yesterday, Banda held her first press conference where she asked all electoral stakeholders to conduct the polls in line with Botswana’s laws while recognising the AU standards and principles.
However, in an interview, the former president’s spokesperson Andekuche Chanthunya could not give an indication whether Banda would fly direct from Botswana to home, saying “we do not disclose that information for security reasons.”
The former president has been away for more than a month attending various personal and official engagements in United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK).
Botswana, a former British colony, conducted its maiden multiparty elections in 1965 before independence in 1966 and had had uninterrupted democratic elections since then.