Joyce Banda admits secretly meeting Goodall Gondwe


President Joyce Banda has admitted to have met and discussed some economic issues with former finance minister Goodall Gondwe amid speculations that he is being earmarked for the post of finance minister.

Gondwe last week announced his exit from both opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) and politics and said he would serve President Banda’s government in a personal capacity, prompting speculation that he will be the next finance minister.

But when asked yesterday at Sanjika Palace on her return from Belgium and the United Arab Emirates, Banda neither denied nor confirmed that Gondwe will be entrusted with the government purse.

“One thing I must tell the nation is that I had a meeting with honourable Goodall Gondwe and this is exactly what he said: I have been an official at the IMF [International Monetary Fund]. I know what a country needs to move from this situation we are in to prosperity. If there is any advice I can give I am ready to give,” Banda said.

She said Gondwe did not commit himself to join the People’s Party (PP) even though she said he applauded the economic measures that her government has implemented to resuscitate the ailing economy.

“He did not say he want to join PP. He said he was happy with what I was doing. He assured me that there will be criticisims but I should not worry because what I am doing now is what they were doing at the IMF,” she said.

She, however, said the mandate to appoint ministers is with her but made it clear that all she knows for the time being is that her Minister of Finance remains Ken Lipenga.

“The appointing authority is Joyce Banda. Unless there is a press release the Minister of Finance is Ken Lipenga,” she said.

Gondwe’s resume as finance minister is boosted by how he revived the country’s economy between 2004-2009 during the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s first term.

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