President Joyce Banda of Malawi Names New State House Building in Lilongwe After First Post Independence Leader Hastings Kamuzu Banda
Malawi’s current President Joyce Banda has named the new State House building in Lilongwe after first post-independence leader Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
President Banda made the announcement on Saturday to the effect that the building was now officially known as the Kamuzu Palace in honor of Malawi’s first leader.
The announcement coincided with celebrations marking the 31st years of the Kamuzu Academy in Kasungu District, saying as the father and founder of modern Malawi Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda deserves special status in the annals of the country’s history.
"Dr Banda was the one who built the structure and left it for posterity. Therefore it is fitting for us to remember him by naming the house after him" she said.
The building built by President Hastings Banda (although he did not use it) in 1990 has up to 100 rooms including banquet halls. It housed the National Assembly during the tenure of ex-President Bakili Muluzi from 1999 to 2004.
Both Banda and Muluzi were using Sanjika Palace in the commercial city of Blantyre as residence.
In 2004 late President Bingu Wa Mutharika refused to stay in Blantyre and opted for the capital, using the building as his residence, a tradition continued by the current President Joyce Banda who also lives there.
Malawi’s first President Hastings Kamuzu Banda who was born in 1898 and died in neighboring South Africa in 1997 ruled the country from 1961 to 1994.
His 33 year rule was seen as controversial despite his largely pro-Western leanings having presided over one of Africa’s most repressive regimes and scorned for being a tyrant and his recognition of the apartheid regime in South Africa.
In 1993, Banda was forced by international pressure and widespread protest at home to organize a referendum which brought his one party stat to an end and paved the way for multiparty elections which he lost to Bakili Muluzi in 1994.
Source African Press Agency
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