Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika - Foes

Joyce Banda and Peter Mutharika – Foes

LILONGWE (Malawi NewsNow ) —Malawi President Peter Mutharika on Tuesday evening acknowledged that he is not in talking terms with her predecessor Mrs Joyce Banda since he ascended to the presidency in May 2014 but dismissed charges by the former president that his administration is all out to persecute her.

Speaking during a first ever programme Broadcasting Corporation (MBC-TV),  “Talk to the President” the Malawi leader said Banda has no well-founded fear of persecution as she claims.

“I received complaints but I have no idea of such other than an olive branch I offered her during my inauguration,” he said.

Banda, currently in self-imposed exile, has cast doubt on the possibility of her returning home soon, claiming her security is not guaranteed in the country.

Through her husband, former First Gentleman Richard Banda, ex-president Joyce Banda wrote letters to the embassies and other international organizations to alert them about the imminent danger that she faces in Malawi.

Mutharika said he has not talked to his predecessor other for a long time.

“The last time we talked was during the funeral of late President Bingu Wa Mutharika in April 2012 when he was invited on funeral arrangements,” he said.

But the President said he still keeps his “olive branch” for Banda.

“When she is ready, the offer is there. Let us work together, we want the country to move forward,” he said.

Banda said she is sceptical of an olive branch extended to her.