Picking on former president Joyce Banda (JB) seems like plucking low-hanging fruit. But sometimes you cannot resist when you realise JB is doing a bad job at being JB. She has wrapped herself in so many lies she has actually started believing in them. And that is dangerous. Lying is an art and JB doesn’t seem cut out for it.
Disputing the chain of events leading to her involvement in Cashgate by former principal secretary of Tourism Treza Senzani, Banda looks at her short-lived, error-prone, kleptocratic reign through rose-tinted glasses: “…the nation had enough fuel, enough maize in all Admarc markets and did not have any lean period throughout those two years; uninterrupted water supply, uninterrupted power supply; enough revenue collection, enough money for import cover, companies operated on 85 percent… We were a happy nation again!”
How I wish I had lived in that idyllic nation. And how I wish JB stuck to clearing her name from Cashgate than indulging in such deceptions about the paradise in which she alone lived.
In the statement, Banda recollects how the Paris Club walked out on Kamuzu Banda and how Bakili Muluzi enticed them back; how donors dumped Muluzi towards the end of his tenure and only returned when Bingu wa Mutharika sweet-talked them back; how the same donors threw a fit again on Mutharika but returned with his death-her ascension to power. At that point, her narration blanks out, only to rise again to implore President Peter Mutharika to entice the donors to return.
It begs the question, ma’am, at what point did they forsake Malawi and for what?
Why she couldn’t entice the same donors beats me, yet she stands on the proverbial molehill to accuse her successor of incompetence in clearing the mess to which she was part of the problem. After all, wasn’t K577 billion the cumulative theft under both Bingu and Banda’s rule, of which she is the common denominator?
Banda often blubbers how the government is keen to throw her under the Cashgate bus. She could not resist this time around as she challenges Mutharika: “I would have wished I met him in court so he can prove my guilt to the entire world.” That would be the day.
Suggesting the government is pulling out all the stops to have her arraigned on cases related to Cashgate is absurd. Nothing could be further from the truth. Government, incompetent as it is, needed no effort to tie her to Cashgate.
When she was president-and Peter Mutharika was in opposition-JB needed no prompting to link herself to Cashgate. At a press conference at Sanjika Palace, a journalist let it known that word on the street was that she was a beneficiary of Cashgate proceeds, to which JB’s mouth seemed to have overrun her thought process. Without giving it much thought, JB opened her heart to the nation about how she views stolen property: the receiver of stolen property has done no wrong. If this was not a tacit confession about her involvement in Cashgate, then I don’t know any. As you seem keen to bring up Mutharika’s profession as a lawyer at every turn, the law, actually, does not look kindly on people who receive stolen property, as you seem to have confessed. So, you see, JB needed neither Mutharika nor the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), to frame herself in the Cashgate picture. It was her own mouth.
JB’s predilection for shooting from the hip came to the fore when, without so much prompting, told the nation she knew who shot former budget director Paul Mphwiyo-and why. Until the courts conclude the cases they are pursuing, we don’t know who shot him and I am sure the Director of Public Prosecutions would gladly do with some help from JB. After all, she knows who shot Mphwiyo. As to the why he was shot, we all know how Mphwiyo and Cashgate are intertwined.
So, how does JB still wonder why her name is constantly mentioned in the same breath as Cashgate?n