Malawi on Saturday started another phase in her history as Joyce Banda was sworn in as President. She becomes the country’s firts female President and the second in Africa, coming after Liberia’s Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf.
Joyce Banda took over the reigns of power after the sudden demise of Bingu Wa Mutharika, the country’s former President who was aged 78.
Banda who was the Vice President during Mutharika‘s reign will turn 62 on April, 12. She is expected to lead the country until 2014 when elections when Malawi’s next elections will hold. Incidentally, Joyce Banda had fallen out with the late president, an event that led to her expulsion from the ruling party (DPP) in 2010. She was however not suspended from her position as Vice President
Following speculations that members of the DPP might try to subvert the constitution and sideline her from assuming her official presidential duties, Banda appealed for calm. In a press conference on Saturday, she said “I call upon all Malawians to remain calm and to keep the peace during this time of bereavement.”
Malawi has declared 10 days of official mourning for Mutharika whose body still remains in South Africa as the government has started making arrangements to have it flown back to Malawi.