Malawi's President Joyce Banda is not a fan of Madonna.
Banda told The Daily Telegraph, the singer is not 'banned' from Malawi, but that her charity work would no longer be welcome in her country. "Madonna came to Malawi to build a school, an academy like the one Oprah (Winfrey) build in South Africa, but she changed her mind," Banda said. "I have a problem with a lot of things around the adoption of the children and the changing of the mind and then coming back to build community schools."
In 2006, Madonna filed adoption papers for a Malawi boy named David Banda Mwale. The adoption did not go over well with local officials. According to CNN, "Malawian law stipulates that a prospective adoptive parent should live in the country for at least 18 months before he or she can be granted permission to adopt a child." She eventually won the adoption case and officially adopted David in 2008.
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In 2009, Madonna returned to Malawi to adopt her daughter, Mercy, however according to the Daily Record, this time the high court rejected her bid due to the residency law requiring prospective parents to reside in Malawi for 18 months. Madonna did eventually win the adoption, with the judge citing her commitment to helping children in Malawi through her charitable work, according to CBS.
President Banda's decision to withdraw her support of Madonna's work may be a personal one. According to The Telegraph, Banda's sister, Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo, was picked by Madonna to be the CEO of the now defunct school, Raising Malawi Academy for Girls. The singer fired several staff members, including Mtila-Oponyo, when reports arose of the staff using school funding for luxury cars and personal items.
Madonna reportedly offered to continue her fight for education in Malawi by opening 10 new schools, however the Telegraph notes that the government said no and is "fed up" with her.
Madonna's charitable organization, Raising Malawi, told the AFP they will continue their support of the Malawi people saying, "This is a critical time for Malawi as President Banda attempts to steer Malawi back toward more successful times. It is also a crucial moment for the friends of Malawi to continue to show their support. Raising Malawi remains a committed friend to Malawi and has expanded support in 2012 into the area of education."
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