By Emmanuel Muwamba – Malawi’s former president Bakili Muluzi on Wednesday finally left Malawi for South Africa for medical treatment five months after his due date.
The government had refused Muluzi permission to travel to South Africa for specialised treatment for his slipped discs problems arguing that the State specialists should first determine his condition.
But the High Court has on several occasions ordered that the State should facilitate his medical review trip.
On April 2 2011, President Bingu wa Mutharika directed that Muluzi should be allowed to travel to South Africa without strings attached and that government should provide all necessary logistical arrangements.
Muluzi was president for two terms from 1994 to 2004.
His lawyer Jai Banda said the former president will be in South Africa for about six weeks for medical review and treatment. He did not say when the former leader would return to Malawi.
“His condition would determine the time he will return to Malawi. It will all depend on doctor’s assessment but he is expected to stay up to six weeks,” said Banda.
Muluzi is currently answering 12 counts of corruption involving a person employed in public office. He denies the charges.
He is alleged to have diverted about $13 million public money into his personal banks accounts when he was president.
The money is said to have come from Taiwan, the Great Socialist People’s Libyan Arab Jamahiriya and the Kingdom of Morocco.