Former cabinet ministers Patricia Kaliati, Henry Mussa and current deputy health minister Halima Daudi have denied any knowledge regarding allegations that the ex-ministers were part of the of the letter in which President Joyce Banda reportedly tendered her resignation to the Speaker of the National Assembly, Henry Chimunthu-Banda due to poor health.
The three denied the allegations following media reports that a 34 year-old Wells Tsidya-Phiri is languishing at Maula prison in Lilongwe after he was arrested as the main suspect who authored the resignation letter.
Phiri, who is on remand at prison in Lilongwe where has suffered minor stroke due to high blood pressure, was also accused by the former ministers of mentioning their names to government as people who authored the letter.
“I had bought a groundnut shelling machine for deputy health minister Halima Daudi and went to Capitol Hill to collect my payment. After failing to meet the deputy minister, I drove back to town with a Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) official who had asked for a lift.
“When I stopped at one of the banks at the city centre I saw some officials from the former ruling party who took me to Capital Hotel where I met former cabinet ministers Patricia Kaliati and Henry Mussa.
“These people accused me that I had mentioned their names to government that they were the ones who authored the president’s resignation letter and that I had used Honourable Daudi to report them to government,” Phiri told the paper.
“Later they took me to police where they said it was me who was the author of the letter. They have not proved anything and their witness, Andrew Namathanga confessed that he was not telling the truth and he has since been convicted for lying and is serving a three-year prison sentence,” Phiri told the paper.
Daudi, who was also summoned to Capital Hotel and expressed ignorance of the allegations, told the paper that Tsidya Phiri visited her office on March 6, the day he was arrested but could not tell the purpose of Phiri’s visit.
But Kaliati and Mussa denied any knowledge of anyone by the name of Tsidya Phiri with the former adding that she wasn’t President Banda to report anyone to police on such a matter.
Pres. Banda offered a K2 million reward to anyone who would provide information that would lead to the arrest of people behind the letter.