President Joyce Banda of Malawi. She was sworn in after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika who died on April 6, 2012., a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
President congratulates new Malawian leader
Monday, 09 April 2012 00:00
Joyce Banda was sworn in as Malawi's new president, becoming its first female leader in a ceremony in the capital Lilongwe
Hebert Zharare News Editor
PRESIDENT Mugabe yesterday congratulated Malawian Vice President Joyce Banda for being appointed President of the Republic of Malawi following the death of President Bingu wa Mutharika last week.
President Wa Mutharika (78) suffered a cardiac arrest on Thursday.
In a statement yesterday, President Mugabe said Zimbabwe was heartened to note that bilateral relations between Zimbabwe and Malawi continued to blossom.
“On behalf of the Government of Zimbabwe, allow me to extend to you and through you to the Government and people of the Republic of Malawi, our heartfelt congratulations on your appointment as the President of the Republic of Malawi.
“I take this opportunity to express my appreciation for the strong bilateral ties that exist between our two countries.
“We are heartened to note that bilateral exchanges and trade between our two countries have been growing in the past few years.
“I therefore also take this opportunity to reaffirm my commitment to working with you towards further enhancing the economic ties between our two nations and people.
“I wish you, Your Excellency, personal good health, peace and prosperity for the people of the Republic of Malawi.
“Please accept Your Excellency and dear sister the assurances of my highest consideration,” President Mugabe said.
Earlier on President Mugabe had sent message of condolence to President Banda and the people of the Republic of Malawi.
President Banda becomes southern Africa’s first female head of state, and Africa’s second, after President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia.
She took the oath of office before parliament in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi. President Banda, who had been vice-president since 2009, was cheered and applauded before, during and after the ceremony.
She was born in 1950 and was elected Vice President of Malawi in 2009.
In 2011, she had a fall out with President Wa Mutharika but he failed to have her removed from her Vice President post.
She was expelled from the ruling Democratic People’s Party and formed the People’s Party.
President Banda is largely known for her charity work in Malawi to help educate and empower women.
In taking the oath of office, President Banda pledged to “defend and preserve the constitution” and to do right to all manner of people, according to law.
She asked Malawians to “focus on mourning our father,” adding, “It is with a great sense of humility and honour that I accept the huge responsibility of that the people of Malawi have entrusted me with.”
Funeral arrangements will be announced later and 10 days of national mourning have been declared.