WORLD

Malawi issues arrest warrant for ex-president

MALAWI ISSUES ARREST WARRANT FOR EX-PRESIDENT

Malawi police on Monday obtained an arrest warrant against former President Joyce Banda for abuse of office and money laundering.

Investigation authorities said they have gathered evidence against Banda in the 2013 Cashgate case, where the government led by her was accused of looting public funds through shady construction deals.

"The evidence gathered raises reasonable suspicion that the former president committed offences relating to abuse of office and money laundering," Malawi police spokesman James Kadadzera said in statement.

Police said that there is need to interrogate Banda over the allegations, and so an arrest warrant has been issued.

Banda, who ruled the southeast African country in 2012-2014, has been accused of looting more than $100 million in public funds in a scandal dubbed Cashgate.

Africa's second female president, who became the West's darling for her austerity measures, lost power to incumbent Peter Mutharika in the 2014 elections and has been in self-imposed exile in South Africa and the U.S.

The announcement by the police is the first to be made publicly since Banda left the country on fears that she might be arrested.

Kadadzera added that it was not standard practice to publicly announce arrest warrants released against a person. "However, public interest in the Cashgate case necessitates providing this information to the public."

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