Malawi’s VP in Lusaka for Zambia’s independence celebrations
Malawi’s sidelined Vice-President Joyce Banda is in Lusaka for Zambia’s independence celebrations in “her personal capacity”, a sign that the diplomatic tiff between Presidents Bingu wa Mutharika and Michael Sata is still simmering.
Ms Banda, the first woman Vice-President of Malawi, arrived in Lusaka Sunday morning and neither gave interviews nor address ruling party supporters that witnessed her arrival at KK International Airport.
Zambia Vice-President Guy Scott and other senior Government officials welcomed his Malawian counterpart and her delegation.
Shortly after arrival, Ms Banda, one of her Peoples’ Party official, Vice-President Scott and Zambia’s governing Patriotic Front (PF) secretary general Wynter Kabimba held a meeting but the details of the discussions were kept secret. It is unclear the Malawi Government will send an official representative to Zambia’s 47th independence celebrations.
Malawi President Bingu wa Mutharika last month dragged Ms Banda, his 2009 poll running mate, to court demanding interpretation of the law to allow him replace her in a long-running battle between the two.
President Mutharika, 78, demanded that the VP should be deemed to have resigned from Government following her formation of her own political party and not attending Cabinet meetings.
The Malawi President early September left out Ms Banda’s name on his new Cabinet list.
President Mutharika anointed his younger brother Prof Peter Mutharika to succeed him in 2014./Africa Review
President Mutharika is currently under local and international pressure over human rights violations, undemocratic tendencies and allowing Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir – who facing arrest warrant for crimes against humanity – enter Malawi without being arrested.