Former Malawi President Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda is leaving the country for good fleeing from an impending arrest by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB), we can exclusively reveal.

The former Malawi leader who came third in last month’s Presidential Elections is expected to depart shortly for the United States of America (USA) via South Africa.

According to officials in the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) who are closer to former President Joyce Banda, the 4th Malawian leader and the first ever female president has no intentions at all of returning back to the country after this foreign trip.

Her close associates claim that she has found a job in the USA but that it is just a ploy to stay away from the country to avoid any arrests.

A permanent house for Mrs Banda has already been secured in a suburb (house number withheld) in New York where she intends to stay for good.
This comes fast on the wheels of news leaked to her that the country’s corruption buster, the ACB has finalized a dossier that will lead into her arrest anytime soon.

According to ACB insiders, the former Malawi President is being sought to answer for her role in the Cashgate scandals that rocked the country in the last two years she was at the helm of power in this southern African country.

“We have completed all the documents for the arrest of the former president and some senior Malawi Defence Forces officials on issues related to Cashgate,” said a senior investigator with the ACB.

The investigator said that when she was President, Mrs Banda tried her level best to cover up the syphoning of government money through the MDF budget lines under the pretext that this could not be touched because it had to do with national security.

“Her hands are written all over the syphoning of monies under some illegal dealings in the army and we want her to clear her name in the courts,” he said.

Last year, several trips by ACB investigators to get some vital documentation from the MDF headquarters Kamuzu Barracks here in the administrative capital, Lilongwe, proved unsuccessful after the former Army Commander Henry Odillo told them, he was under instructions from the then State President Joyce Banda not to release any information to the corruption fighter body because it was protected under national security.

With Mrs Banda no longer in power and Odillo and his deputy fired from their posts in the Army, the ACB has been given the freedom to arrest any suspects linked to the loss of billions of Malawian taxpayers’ money through the Malawi Defence Forces accounts.

Apart from sacking the Army chiefs, President Arthur Peter Mutharika also removed the country’s head of the civil service Ms. Hawa Ndilowe for organizing former President Banda’s fleeing trip to the USA without the incumbent President’s knowledge.

President Mutharika was only informed officially about the trip after getting a tip-off from some officials in the Office of President and Cabinet that the Chief Secretary had been arranging Mrs Banda’s trip behind his back.

The former Chief Secretary has been sent on a diplomatic mission to be High Commissioner in the neighboring, Tanzania and her deputy Willie Samute is acting as head of the civil service.

By: Innocent Mawaya

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ZIMENE MUMAKONDA

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