Former President Dr. Joyce Banda has trashed President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika’s claims that she bribed journalists in the country to be writing bad stories about his administration, saying the remarks are unfortunate.
Mutharika told the press on June 25 upon arrival from Mozambique that Banda bribed journalists to be writing stories about him and he also accused Banda of shunning her inaugural ceremony at Kamuzu Stadium.
“President Mutharika is quoted as accusing me of paying journalists to write negative stories about him; that I allegedly interfered with the electoral process in May 2014; that I shunned his inauguration; and that I have rejected an ‘olive branch’ the President had extended to me. I never paid any journalist to write bad stories against President Mutharika.
“On the elections of May 20, 2014, I indeed raised serious concerns about the many irregular activities that took place in the course of the elections such as the announcing of results from other places when others were still voting elsewhere,” said Banda in a statement issued by Tusekele Mwanyongo.
Added Banda:“Many Malawians shared my concerns and in the interest of ensuring a smoother process where Malawians genuinely choose their preferred candidate, I had suggested that a presidential poll re-run take place where I would not be available as a candidate. So, there was no question of envy against anyone as I no longer had vested interest.”
She said her acceptance of the courts ruled in favour of the Malawi Electoral Commission to announce the results of the elections where Peter Mutharika was declared winner of the presidential race shows that she holds no grade against the current leadership.
Meanwhile Banda has urged Mutharika to concentrate on resolving issues rocking the country and not attacking the opposition.