Malawi’s Vice-President In Lusaka For Zambia’s Independence Celebrations

Malawi Vice President Joyce Banda arrived in Lusaka, Zambia on Sunday for a private visit and to attend the 47th Independence celebrations for Zambia.

Zambia President Sata had invited her and Malawi former president Bakili Muluzi to attend the Independence celebrations on 24th October.

The Vice-President is in Lusaka for Zambia’s independence celebrations in “her personal capacity”, a sign that the diplomatic tiff between Presidents Bingu wa Mutharika and Michael Sata is still boiling.

Zambia Vice-President Guy Scott and other senior Government officials welcomed his Malawian counterpart and her delegation.

Shortly after arrival, Ms Banda, one of her Peoples’ Party official, Vice-President Scott and Zambia’s governing Patriotic Front, PF, secretary general Wynter Kabimba held a meeting but the details of the discussions were kept secret.

It is unclear if the Malawi Government will send an official representative to Zambia’s 47th independence celebrations.

Malawi and Zambia are in a diplomatic wrangle over the deportation of Michael Sata by Malawi government before he became Zambia president. Sata demanded an apology over the debacle and skipped the Comesa summit to stress his point.

Malawi has since reversed the decision to deport Sata but have offered no apology.

In Malawi, Vice President Joyce Banda is sidelined by Mutharika and many of her responsibilities have since been taken away, some of which have been given to the presidents wife. Mrs Callista Mutharika.

The Malawi President early September left out Ms Banda’s name on his new Cabinet list.

President Mutharika is currently under local and international pressure over human rights violations, undemocratic tendencies and allowing Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir – who facing arrest warrant for crimes against humanity – enter Malawi without being arrested.

Joyce Banda is a Malawian educator, grassroots gender rights activist turned politician who has been Vice-President of Malawi since May 2009. She is Malawi’s first female vice president. She had previous posts as a Member of Parliament, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister for Gender, Children’s Affairs and Community Services.

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