Malawi: Police Issue Warrant of Arrest for Joyce Banda
Malawi police have announced that they have issued a warrant of arrest for former president, Joyce Banda.
Banda’s warrant of arrest was issued in connection with the financial scandal, dubbed the ‘cashgate’ scandal that occurred at Capital Hill in 2014.
The scandal is considered to be the biggest financial scandal in Malawi’s history.
Several prominent Malawian politicians, business owners and civil servants were implicated in the scam, which saw more than US$32 million stolen from public office.
The British government sponsored an independent audit of the ‘cashgate’ scandal, focussing on transactions made through Malawi’s electronic financial management system. They found that the money was stolen over a six-month period, between April and September of 2013.
While Banda herself ordered the audit, it is still believed that she is guilty of abuse of office and money laundering. Others senior officials involved, all of whom were in Banda’s inner circle, have also been accused of corruption, theft and looting.
‘Cashgate’ was the reason for Joyce Banda’s removal from office in 2014, when current Malawian President, Peter Mutharika, won in the election of that year.
The scandal had severe consequences for the country, with several international aid donors pulling their aid donations of more than US$150 million following the findings of the audit.
Malawian police spokesperson, James Kadadzera, said that the warrant for Banda’s arrest will come ‘into force’ on Monday.
“Malawi fiscal and fraud police have unearthed credible evidence which raises reasonable suspicion that the former president committed offences relating to abuse of office and money laundering [sic],” he said.
Banda has been living in a ‘self-imposed’ exile since she lost the election to President Mutharika in 2014.