Malawi Vice President escapes unhurt in road accident

By Emmanuel Muwamba – Malawi vice president Joyce Banda escaped unhurt when a lorry rammed into her official vehicle in a highway in Lilongwe. The motive of the lorry driver is not known.

The accident happened on Saturday evening barely minutes after she had switched vehicles at Kamuzu International Airport where she welcomed President Bingu wa Mutharika who was returning from a SADC function in Botswana.

The office of the vice president and Malawi Police Service have confirmed the accident but ruled out foul play on Banda.

According to the police, the driver of the vehicle claims that he thought the convoy of the vice president had already passed through.

Banda is locked in a succession battle with President Mutharika’s brother, Peter for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

National Police spokesperson Willie Mwaluka told the press that the lorry, a Toyota Dyna, hit the vice president’s vehicle near a fuel filling station along the road to the airport.

Mwaluka said the lorry came from the fuel filling station when the convoy for the vice president was passing by in the evening. He told the press that two vehicles on the vice president’s convoy had just passed by the filling station.

Recently the Malawi Police Service removed the Vice President’s Guard Commander saying officers are routinely transferred in the service.

Police said the removal of the security detail was a normal procedure.

Political analysts have described the manner in which the change has come as threat to the Vice President’s security.