The United States Government has banned former minister of Home Affairs Uladi Mussa, and his spouse Cecilia from entering the US for his alleged involvement in “significant corruption”.
Mussa allegedly engaged in and benefited from public corruption in relation to his official duties while minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security.
In a press statement dated July 3 2019, the US Embassy the decision is in line with Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programmes Act of 2019.
It states that Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that foreign officials have been involved in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the US.
Reads the statement in part: “The law also requires the Secretary of State to publicly or privately designate such officials and their family members. In addition to the designation of Mr. Mussa, the Secretary is also publicly designating Mr. Mussa’s spouse, Cecilia Mussa.”
But Mussa described the decision by the US Government as wrong, arguing that he is innocent until proven guilty by the court of law.
He questioned the motive by the US Government, saying he did not expect them to act on an issue that is still in court.
“The decision is totally wrong; nobody is guilty until proven guilty by a court of law. I did my noble duty as a minister and, as far as I am concerned, I am innocent,” said Mussa, adding that he did not plan to travel to the US anytime soon.
Both presidential spokesperson Mgeme Kalilani and government spokesperson Mark Botomani declined to comment on the matter, saying they had not yet received any communication from the US Embassy in relation to the issue.
However, political governance analyst Henry Chingaipe said ban does not reflect well on government.
He said: “This is the first time this has happened to anyone in Malawi. It is an indication that we are not doing very well in the fight against corruption.
“This should also act as a message to the President to think seriously of the integrity of a person when making appointments because the position of presidential adviser is significant.”