Malawi President Joyce Banda has told international media that she would stand in the 2014 presidential election saying that more work was needed to clean up the “nepotism” of the old regime.

Banda who is president of the People’s Party told the South African Sunday Times that nepotism in the old regime saw late president Bingu wa Mutharika’s brother Peter given the job of foreign minister.

“You must understand that his brother is still here and he is waiting for the job, and the brother has also sympathisers. In the course of the eight years that [Mutharika] was in power the one thing that got worse was nepotism,” she said.

“I have to be extremely careful… to clean up is the greatest challenge. I have to tell the international community that this is not witch-hunting, it is cleaning up, because nobody will be removed without evidence of theft or corruption.”

Since coming to power, Banda – Africa’s second woman leader after Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf – has put in a place a series of moves to boost the economy of the country and win the confidence of international donors.

She devalued the kwacha currency by nearly 49% against the US dollar in May, which had been trading at double the official exchange on the black market.

Banda also got rid of Mutharika’s supporters in government and brought back Malawi’s flag, which Mutharika had changed.

She also told the newspaper that an attempt was made to kill her in 2010 during her tenure as vice president when she opposed late Mutharika.

The president said since taking office in April, she had discovered proof that a truck that had crashed into a car in a convoy she was travelling in was aiming for her.

She changed vehicles at the last minute after warnings from her personal security team.

Banda had fallen out with Mutharika at the time of the crash. She was removed from his party, the DPP, in late 2010.

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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