The Malawi government has withdrawn 22 members of Vice President Joyce Banda security detail as President Bingu wa Mutharika continues to push his deputy from government.
This comes after Mutharika dropped her from cabinet last month after withdrawing all her other portfolios. But Banda still remains the vice president because the President has no powers to sack her.
Security stationed at her residence in Lilongwe’s Area 12 has been removed including the security detail assigned to her convoy.
“In total, the Vice President had 30 security personnel minding her security and she now remains with a team of eight to guard her residence and convoy,” said one of Banda’s aides.
“They had already reduced us to only 30, that is including those that guard residences including Mudi and Area 12. Now we are only 8 it means basically her security at home is no longer there,” said a former bodyguard in Lilongwe.
Banda during her rally at Masintha in Kawale made reference to the withdraw but did not go into details.
Speculation is rife that President Mutharika plans to use parliament to impeach her deputy. He needs two thirds majority to impeach the Vice President.
Banda was sacked from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) after she was accused of forming parallel structures and opposing the nomination of Peter Mutharika, the President’s young brother , as the heir apparent. She has since formed a political party – People’s Party and announced her intention to contest in the 2014 elections.