Former President Joyce Banda has clocked two years since she went in self-imposed political exile after her miserable loss in the 2014 presidential election.
In the past two years, while living in South Africa and the US, the former Malawi leader has been getting a lot of international support which she ironically failed to garner in her homeland.
On Wednesday, June 2, Banda stood before women leaders from across the globe in Washington DC to discuss challenges facing women in politics on the African continent.
Banda who became Malawi’s first female president following the death of Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012, in the company of Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, observed women continue to be looked down upon in politics.
In June 2014 after losing the polls to the incumbent Peter Mutharika, Banda left the country on the pretext of a vacation only to announce she would not be returning to home claiming her personal
security was compromised.
He claimed her personal security and that of her family was compromised because the Mutharika regime had not provided her with a proper house and had never paid her salaries for 17 months.
Several key suspects and convicts including Oswald Lutepo in the Cashgate trials have named Mrs. Banda, in warning and caution statements and testimonies, as the mastermind of the looting of billions of public funds.
Close to K40m is said to have been stolen during the two-year rule of Banda in what is now called Cashgate, coined after the Watergate scandal that brought down US president Richard Nixon in the 1970s.
Despite assurances that the former leader would be returning home, there has been a deafening silence from her office and family members.
This month marks the second anniversary since she went abroad and there is possibility her stay would be extended further.
The first female Malawi president is scheduled to join the Centre for Global Development as a distinguished fellow for women’s leadership issues.-Zodiak