By Staff Reporter 02/5/18
Democratic Progressive Party senior leadership is piling pressure on Anti Corruption Bureau director Reyneck Matemba to try and force him expedite the arrest of former President Dr Joyce Banda on trumped up charges in regards to Cashgate.
Since her return last Saturday from her academic endeavors in the United States of America, DPP as a party has become concerned with widespread support JB is receiving from Malawians across the country. As such her return has become a thorn in the political survival of President Mutharika and his party.
It is this fear that has necessitated emergency meetings between DPP senior brass and Matemba who unfortunately is on record to have already cleared JB of any link to Cashgate. In an interview with Malawi’s leading daily, Daily Times, Matemba on January 12, 2016 told Malawians that ACB has not found any link between JB and Cashgate and that investigations into her involvement had come to a close.
At a meeting held on Monday at Kumbali Lodge in the outskirts of Lilongwe City, DPP put it to Matemba that he must initiate or revive investigations into JB as a way of clipping her political wings and dismantling her ever-growing political base ahead of the 2019 polls.
The meeting which was attended by Matemba, Justice Minister Samuel Tembenu, Attorney General Charles Mhango and Information Minister Nicholas Dausi among others was inconclusive as they observed that arresting JB now will not only affect her Peoples Party but DPP as well.
With divisions on whether DPP should field Chilima or Mutharika as candidate in 2019, the meeting disclosed that the Chilima camp is against arresting JB as this will only be political prosecution that only aims at aiding Mutharika to cling to power. The Chilima camp which says APM is very unpopular to win next year observes that he should play fair to both Chilima and opposition candidates if he really wants to prove his popularity on the ground.
A day after the meeting Matemba rushed to Malawi Broadcasting Corporation and Nation newspaper to change tune and deny his earlier statement of clearing the former President.
However, his efforts have raised eyebrows inside the ACB because officers who were assigned to JB inquest have no new leads whatsoever to bring her to book.
The former President has boldly denied any involvement in Cashgate and has challenged the state to prove beyond reasonable doubt if they have any evidence against her.