AFP | DAILY NATION Joyce Banda holds a ceremonial sword at her inauguration on April 7, 2012 as Malawi’s new president, becoming its first female leader in a ceremony in the capital Lilongwe. Joyce Banda was on Saturday sworn in as Malawi’s first woman president and told her supporters there was “no room for revenge” after the divisive Bingu wa Mutharika died in office.
By Rex Chikoko email@example.com
Posted Thursday, April 12 2012 at 18:00
The spat between Callista Mutharika, the wife of the departed Malawi President Bingu Mutharika, and his successor, Joyce Banda was a pointer of things to come.
Blinded by proximity to power and its trappings, the former First Lady derided Mrs Banda as a “mandasi” (mandazi in East Africa) woman of no consequence.
As vice-president, Banda had differed with President Mutharika when it became clear that he was grooming his brother, James Mutharika, to succeed him. Banda was fired from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) but she founded her own party and remained vice-president, thanks to the constitution.
“You distribute little money here and there for village women to sell mandasi and you think you can become president?” Callista Mutharika had harangued the future president.
“I am a mandasi woman, and I am a supporter of all mandasi women, all market women in Malawi, and all tomato women in the country. That is my constituency.”
The mandasi solidarity paid off. Last week, Banda wielded the symbolic sword of power and was sworn in as Malawi’s fourth president and the country’s first female one.
In a printed floral dress with matching headgear and a grey wrapper across her right shoulder, Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda walked to the podium in the new Parliament building in Lilongwe and took the oath that changed Malawi’s history forever as foe and friend watched.
The daughter of Gray John Stewart Mtila, a former policeman, composer, and famous drum major of the police brass band, Banda became the second female president in Africa.
Born on 12 April, 1950, President Banda’s ascendancy to greatness was predetermined at an early age by circumstances that ushered her into an adventurous life that later defined her persona.
As her father was tossed from one police station to another because of the nature of his job, his daughter had the opportunity to travel the length and breadth of Malawi.
The young Yao girl would appreciate the various ways of life of the major communities in Malawi such as the Chewa, Tumbuka, Mang’anja, Tonga, Ngonde, Lhomwe, and Sena.
Unlike her predecessor, Bingu wa Mutharika, who was largely viewed as aloof, Banda is regarded as a “woman of the people”. Mutharika died on Thursday, 5 March.
By her own admission, the president’s home is neither Malindi in Mangochi District, where her father came from, nor Domasi in Zomba District, where her mother, Edith Chimwele, hailed. It is also not Nkhata Bay District, the home of her husband, retired Chief Justice Richard Banda.
“I belong everywhere,” she has told many political rallies.
The message is that she belongs everywhere she lived with her father and siblings McArthur, Festa, Cecilia, and Anjumile.
Headlines Newsview all
'New low' for Joan Rivers as women held captive by Ariel Castro demand apology for Today show joke she made at their expense
Comedienne quipped that 'those women in the basement in Cleveland had more space' than she did while filming new reality showBy Associated Press and Daily Mail Reporter ...
Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are visiting Canberra today as part of their tour to Australia and New ZealandWilliam will be addressing Parliament House this ...
New York's police introduced the Twitter hashtag #myNYPD where citizens can show them as a force for good, but it quickly backfiredImages and stories of ...
Pictures & Photos of Kenya
Kenya Top Stories
Whole lotta excitement over 'new' Led Zeppelin tracks: Rock legends unveil two previously unheard recordings ahead of reissue of first three albums
Guitarist Jimmy Page has spent two years choosing material from archivesReleasing blues song Keys To The Highway and early Whole Lotta LoveReissuing albums but singer ...
Pictured hours before his fatal slip in New York bar: Camilla's brother Mark Shand, 62, smiling for camera's with his 'secret fianceé, Ruth Powys, 36, and Princess Eugenie
Duchess of Cornwall's brother, Mark Shand, 62, was pictured with his rumoured fianceé, Ruth Powys, 36, in New York only hours before his deathMiss Powys ...
Living on a Dollar a Day: New book puts a face to the 1.6 billion people on earth who live in extreme poverty
By Daily Mail Reporter Published: 03:46 GMT, 24 April 2014 ...
Man demands realtor takes back mansion he leased for knock-down price after discovering it is 'haunted' after gruesome murder took place there
Texas man Nir Golan is involved in dispute with his realtor after he agreed to lease a home built on the site of a notorious ...
'Our plan was to grow old together': Heartbroken widow of decorated Marine, 33, who succumbed to cancer blames his early death on controversial burn pits in Iraq
By Snejana Farberov Published: 01:54 GMT, 24 April 2014 ...
Daycare worker convicted of murder in 2003 'shaking death' of 4-month-old girl to be released from prison as she appeals her conviction after judge finds there is 'substantial' evidence that she's innocent
Jennifer Del Prete was convicted of murder in the 2003 shaking death of 4-month-old Isabella ZielinskiA federal judge ruled that she be released from prison ...
New blood test could predict if you will get arthritis and allow treatment which will stop irreparable damage being done
Scientists have identified two biomarkers - or indicators in the bloodThey hope they could help distinguish between those with the conditionThis could then be used ...
'Mummy, give me a cuddle': Last words of 16-year-old British jihadist before leaving for Syria - where his brother was killed fighting - revealed as police launch campaign to stop others following
Jaffar Deghayes disappeared from Brighton with brother AbdullahAbdullah later died while fighting alongside Islamic rebel forces in SyriaNumber of arrests in first quarter of year ...
John Lewis is top shop again: Department store named Britain's best retailer for tenth time in past 15 years
Retail analysts Verdict named John Lewis as 'the nation's best retailer'Brand has 41 stores in UK and has annual sales of around £4billion a yearJohn ...
By Sebastian Shakespeare Published: 00:54 GMT, 24 April 2014 ...