PreviousNext

Malawi's iron lady Joyce Banda

By // General | Malawi's iron lady Joyce Banda
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

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 rexchikoko@yahoo.co.uk
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.

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Omar Gonzalez 'who stormed White House' got past 5 rings of security including SWAT Video

Determined: Omar Gonzalez, 42, managed to get past five rings of security to reach the White House The homeless Iraq veteran who jumped over the White ...

Just eight lives left then! Moment entire hotel collapses following fire... and cat strolls out of rubble completely unharmed (but a bit wet) 

By Sarah Gordon for MailOnline Published: 12:21 GMT, 24 September 2014 | Updated: 12:41 GMT, 24 September 2014 ...

Prisoner stuffed bed with pillows so he could escape from open prison

Prisoner stuffed his bed with pillows to fool guards he was in bed fast asleepHe then escaped and committed an aggravated burglary with an accompliceThe ...

Huge turn-out for funeral of much loved grandmother who was beheaded outside London home 

Around 150 people gathered to say goodbye to Palmira Silva, 82Funeral cortege stopped at the cafe grandmother ran with her family Mother-of-two died after she was allegedly attacked ...

Julie Roberts' hospitalised TWICE by spider bite releases pictures of injuries 

Julie Roberts believes she was bitten by a spider at a friend's barbecue Developed a two-inch blister and began to feel unwell so went to hospital Doctors ...

Police trying to contact nearly 40 children whose pictures were found on the phone of a maths teacher who has been charged with sexual assault 

Police ramp up investigation against 66-year-old Quy Huy HoangThe Vietnamese maths tutor is charged with sexually assaulting six underage clientsThe search is on for up ...

Two men and a woman charged over 'vicious' attack on Philadelphia gay couple after internet users helped police track them down on social media 

Police posted video of the well-dressed suspects out on the town that nightSeveral of the approximately 12 men and women in group met with policePhilip ...

Trinity Mirror pays compensation to celebrities over 'phone hacking'

Company settles six claims made by figures such as Sven-Goran ErikssonWill pay actor Christopher Eccleston and ex-Beckham nanny Abbie GibsonOthers are ex-footballer Garry Flitcroft, agent ...

'This should be fun': Jeremy Paxman heads to Channel 4 to host election night coverage after quitting BBC's flagship current affairs show Newsnight

The 64-year-old former Newsnight host has been signed by rival Channel 4 He will anchor its coverage on election night on Thursday 7 May next yearPaxman ...

Young kite is passed a vole by its mother in amazing mid-air acrobatic manoeuvre 

Soaring through the air, a hungry white-tailed kite prepares to snatch a vole from his mother's claws. The incredible mid-air takeaway was captured by Malaysian photographer ...

Marks & Spencer's shopper urinates on jewellery display at Plymouth store

This is this shocking moment a shopper caused nearly £300 of damage when he stopped to urinate on a jewellery display at a branch of ...

Kenya Top Stories

For the love of her dog: Moment woman scrambles up steep Thames Embankment with pet in her arms after dramatic rescue

Dog had to be rescued from Thames Embankment near KewWoman undertook two minute ladder climb up the embankment with dog Woman's friend descended a number ...

130 asylum seekers moved out of London hotel due to overcrowding arrive in seaside resort

Immigrants transferred to £66-a-night Grand Burstin Hotel in FolkestoneIt's due to overcrowding at Queens Hotel in Crystal Palace, south LondonMP insists it's only a temporary ...

Two people wounded in Florida shooting at Osceola Square Mall

The shooting followed an argument in a clothes store, police sayVictims were unarmed and their injuries are not life threatening Two men found dead in ...

Watch moment horse bonds with young boy with genetic disorder

Young boy looks wary as he first sees the horse in the paddockBut as steed approaches, boy gains confidence to look it in the eye Heartwarming moment ...

QPR's Steven Caulker wrongly accused of stealing Tesco's soft cheese

Stephen Caulker had been shopping at a store in Surrey when he was cuffedWitnesses say they heard officers talking to him about Philadelphia cheese Spent five ...

British man Martin John tortured and held to ransom by 'Muslim gang' when he went to Ukraine

A man named as Martin John, 58, was kidnapped by Muslims in UkraineHe was held in a cellar for three days with the gang demanding ...

Nurse Hollie McEwen hanged herself after becoming tormented by chronic psoriasis

Hollie McEwen fell into depression after suffering from severe psoriasisThe 'beautiful, vibrant' 28-year-old had first class honours degree in nursing She was found hanged after she ...

Married couple used African witchcraft to terrify and trick two women into coming to Britain and work as prostitutes, court hears

Married Lizzy Idahosa, 23, and Jackson Omoruyi, 41, at Cardiff Crown CourtThey're accused of trafficking women aged 23 and 29 from Nigeria to BritainCourt heard ...

Nicola Sturgeon launches bid to replace Alex Salmond as Scottish First Minister

Deputy First Minister is the clear frontrunner to take the top jobSalmond quit as SNP leader after defeat in the independence referendumSturgeon insists she is ...

That's handy! Design firm creates bicycle saddle that double sup as a lock

Clever device eliminates need to carry around a bulky lockIt can be switched from seat position and fitted in less than 30 seconds Published: ...

TOP STORIES EXTRA

Masinde Muliro

Masinde Muliro (1922 - August 14, 1992) was a Kenyan politician, one of the central figures in the shaping of the political landscape in Kenya.
Masinde Muliro

Thomas Joseph Odhiambo Mboya

Thomas Joseph Odhiambo Mboya (August 15, 1930 – July 5, 1969) was a prominent Kenyan politician during Jomo Kenyatta's government. He was founder of the
Thomas Joseph Odhiambo Mboya

Paul Joseph Ngei

The Honourable Paul Joseph Ngei (18 October 1923 - 15 August 2004) was a Kenyan politician who was imprisoned for his role in the anti-colonial
Paul Joseph Ngei

Ramogi Achieng Oneko

Ramogi Achieng Oneko (1920–2007) was a Kenyan freedom fighter and a politician. In Kenya, he is considered as a national hero.He was born in Tieng'a
Ramogi Achieng Oneko

Jaramogi Ajuma Oginga Odinga

Jaramogi Ajuma Oginga Odinga (c. 1911 – January 20, 1994) was a Luo Chief, who became a prominent figure in Kenya's struggle for independence. He
Jaramogi Ajuma Oginga Odinga

Josiah Mwangi Kariuki

Josiah Mwangi Kariuki (March 21, 1929–March 2, 1975) was a Kenyan socialist politician during the administration of the Jomo Kenyatta government. He held different government
Josiah Mwangi Kariuki

Waruhiu Itote

Waruhiu Itote (General China) (b. 1922; d. 30 April 1993) was one of the key leaders of the Mau Mau rebellion alongside Dedan Kimathi and
Waruhiu Itote

Musa Mwariama

Field Marshal Musa Mwariama (born 1928) is a former leader of the Mau Mau in Meru and the highest ranking Mau Mau who survived the
Musa Mwariama