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Former President Joyce Banda implicated in coup plot

Justice Maxon Mbendera, chairperson of the country’s electoral body has implicated Joyce Banda in a coup attempt initiated by ex-President Joyce Banda.

Mbendera has alleged that Joyce Banda instructed the Malawi Defence Force to storm the national tally centre at Comesa Hall in Blantyre to nullify the electoral process.

“It would have been a coup d’état for the president to declare an election null and void. The law is very clear. It was therefore uncalled for the President to issue that decree ordering the annulment of the electoral process” Mbendera alleged in an exclusive interview with Times TV on Wednesday.

Amid the May 20 election stand-off, Joyce Banda issued a presidential decree through which she nullified the electoral process, citing massive electoral fraud and “rampant irregularities”.

Banda, who had been standing for re-election, ordered a new vote within 90 days in which she would not contest.

However, her decree was rejected by the High Court when the Malawi Electoral Commission challenged it.

Her fiercest rival, Peter Mutharika of Democratic Progressive Party emerged winner, with MCP’s presidential candidate, Lazarous Chakwera, trailing on second position.

Justice Mbendera also revealed in the interview that he was summoned to State House in Lilongwe by President Joyce Banda who questioned Mbendera’s neutrality following allegations that he had donated cash amounting to K100, 000 to Chakwera for his campaign.

Malawi’s May 20 elections were marred with a variety of irregularities, with leading political parties claiming the elections were rigged.

Mbendera’s allegations come at the heel of time when Joyce Banda has publicly declared that she will contest in 2019 under Peoples Party ticket.

She has been in the limelight, with the Government scolding her recent invitation to the UN where she was a key note speaker.

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