Nyasa Times Leeds Thom Chiumia
Displayed with permission from allAfrica.com

Malawi’s former president Joyce Banda has finally declared that she is ready to bounce back as the country’s Head of State should Malawians ask her to do so.

She made the declaration on Voice of America (VOA) Straight Talk Africa programme aired live across the globe on the evening of Wednesday, November 23, 2016 from Washington DC, United States.

The programme was also televised on private media houses Times TV and broadcast on Capital Radio in Malawi.

« At the end of the day, if you are talking about my political life, it is Malawians who will decide.

« If Malawians are saying I should continue; they want me to stand again, I shall go back home and answer that call, » Banda told VOA veteran journalist Shaka Ssali during the hour-long interview.

Banda said she was « willing to serve the people of Malawi ».

She said currently she was working to finish her research on women’s leadership and girls’ education at the Woodrow Wilson Center and Center for Global Development (CGD) in Washington where she is a Distinguished Research Fellow and present and publish the papers.

« My future plans are for me to continue my development work; fight for women’s right and women’s leadership, » Banda said.

Reminiscing about her tenure as Head of State in Malawi and the notable good achievements Malawi registered between 2012 and 2014, former President Banda said she « owed it to Malawians ».

« It’s not me alone; God gave me a good team of men and women; it is Malawians; when you engage them they listen to you.

« What I have discovered is that this is not going to be only about women; yes I made very important appointments of women but I had strong men who worked for me and with me, » she noted.

On the fight against cashgate, the infamous looting of public funds, Banda said as a leader, she fought against the vice with unreserved commitment as exemplified by her declaration on September 7, 2013, upon being alerted of the theft, that she would set up a team to investigate the matter, which later culminated in the arrest of scores of suspects.

« When I heard that some people in my cabinet were being mentioned, I dissolved cabinet to ask them to step aside in order for investigations to take place. That’s what a leader must do; when you are alerted, you allow investigations to take place; you arrest the people (involved). That’s what I did, » she said.