On 7 April 2012, Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda became Malawi’s fourth republican President following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika who died on 5, 6 and 7 April respectively.
Before ascending to power, DPP stalwarts led by current President Peter Mutharika attempted to block Banda. They tried to use the courts, the army and eventually MBC to have Banda denied the opportunity to become President. However they failed.
Banda was sworn in as President and the DPP was kicked out of government to be replaced by Banda’s party, the Peoples’ Party.
Banda later appointed Khumbo Kachali as her Vice President.
In her term of office, Banda presided over the worst financial scandal in the history of Malawi which has come to be known as the Cashgate. It is alleged by people who have already been convicted in the scandal that they stole from government coffers on instructions from Banda.
Mutharika and other five DPP leaders including Patricia Kaliati and Nicholas Dausi were arrested for trying to block Banda from ascending to the seat of Presidency. They were charged with treason. Mutharika has however maintained that the charges were nonsense. The charges fell apart when Mutharika became President.
Meanwhile Joyce Banda is in a self-imposed exile following what many think is a fear of an arrest on Cashgate related charges when she returns.