News and Views
Joyce Banda sworn in as Malawi’s first Female president
Malawi has sworn in Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda as first Female president and the forth president of the country succeeding late Bingu wa Mutharika who passed away on Thursday after suffering from cardiac arrest and passed away at a 1 Military hospital in Pretoria, South Africa.
Banda, 62, took oath at exactly 5:20 pm in the National Assembly building in Lilongwe before the Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo, Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu Banda and a cross section of cabinet minister, members of parliament, representative of foreign governments, and leaders of the party she founded, People Party (PP).
“I, Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda, do solemnly swear that I will well and truly perform the function high of the president of Malawi and that will preserve and defend constitution and that I do right to all manner of people according to law, without fear or favour affection or good will so help me God,” Banda took oath amid ululation and hand clapping.
Banda immediately called upon those who gathered in the parliament building to observe a two minute of silence in honour of Malawi’s departed leader Bingu wa Mutharika, saying: “May His soul rest in peace.”
Banda then called upon the nation to focus on mourning President Bingu wa Mutharika and remain united. She said said she is going to deliver her first state of national address at a later date.
Banda mused of her first meeting with the cabinet was cordial and that she experienced the presence of God during the cabinet meeting.
“I have accepted this honour to lead the country with great humility. I sincerely hope the country will remain united,” she told the ululating and hands clapping house.
Banda said she was happy that there was a smooth transition of power and that there will be no room “for revenge.”
Malawi Army General, Henry Odilo and Inspector of Police Peter Mukhitho handed over the mantle of power to the new leader making the transition of power.
The ceremony was a fulfillment of the country’s constitution which stipulates that when a president dies in the office, the vice president shall take over the leadership to the next elections.
Banda becomes the first female President for the country and second to Liberian President Ellen Serif Johnstone of Liberia.
Banda served in different ministerial portifolio’s in Bakili Muluzi, Bingu wa Mutharika’s cabinet and party level since she joined active politics as a member of parliament of the then United Democratic Front and then defected to Mutharika’s democratic Progressive party before finding her own People’s Party.