Brand it marriage of convenience. Who would have thought that one day President Peter Mutharika’s long-time aide Ben Phiri and former President Joyce Banda would be in-laws? Surely not many of us saw this coming, even Mutharika himself, but that’s what fate has thrown onto us.
This evening Phiri cements his matrimonial vows to his presumably better-half Bernadette Kachigunda Chimungu in a multi-million Kwacha wedding at Cross-Roads Hotel in Lilongwe.
It’s a wedding only to be attended by executives with Mutharika himself and his wife to be part of the attendees.
Most interesting is not the marriage itself- as that is one of Ben Phiri’s expertise being a three time divorcee- but how he convinced Banda- currently in self imposed exile in United States- to have her niece’s hand in marriage considering their sour correlation; unless we were just made to believe so.
During her two-year reign Band and Phiri never saw each eye to eye, neither her relationship with Mutharika and entire DPP camp was rosy. And how Phiri has managed to change all that, seriously, only heavens can tell.
Bernadette Kachigunda Chimungu is another character in the frame whose sexual pedigree even a six-year-old kid can recite blind-folded. Which libidinous and rich guy in town has not tasted the kitty under her skirt? But love is blind, and nobody can dismiss that.
Phiri, self-made billionaire, has lavished millions of Kwachas on what can easily be described as a marriage of cash-gaters.
Ben Phiri was once under investigations by the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) on allegations of wrongful self-enrichment before Mutharika intervened.
He resigned from his position after being accused that he has amassed a spectacular fortune and property portfolio in one year being at State House, while earning a modest civil servant salary.
Malawi is reeling from a mass corruption scandal christened as Cashgate which London based auditors Baker Tilly revealed about K13 billion was lost from 2012, and from which Phiri’s new wife benefited. About K92 billion was lost from 2005.