Arrest warrant issued for former Malawian president over corruption scandal


An arrest warrant has been granted to the police by a Malawian court for former President Joyce Banda over her alleged involvement in a corruption scandal during her tenure.

The allegations assert that the former president was part of a scheme in which companies and individuals were paid for services that weren’t provided.

“The Malawi police wishes to inform Malawians that its Fiscal and Fraud Section conducted some investigations on the suspected involvement of the Former President in ‘cashgate’ cases and unearthed credible evidence, ” Malawi Police spokesman James Kadadzera said in a statement.

“The evidence gathered raises reasonable suspicion that the former president committed offenses relating to abuse of office and money laundering,” the statement added.

But according to her spokesman Andekuche Chanthunya while speaking to Zodiak Broadcasting Station on Monday, Banda wasn’t involved in the scheme and the arrest warrant is a political witch-hunt by the government.

The alleged theft, also called the” Cashgate saga” by local news media, involved as much as 24 billion kwacha ($33 million). The Malawian government paid for goods and services that were never delivered. This in turn prompted donors to suspend direct aid to Malawi.

A former official of Banda’s People’s Party, Oswald Lutepo, now serving an 11-year jail identified the former leader as the mastermind.

The Cashgate scandal was uncovered in 2013, while Banda was Malawi leader, and led to the arrest of about 70 people, including government officials and business people.

Banda served as president between April 2012 to May 2014. She left the country after losing an election to Peter Mutharika in 2014.