Lifestyle & Belief

Madonna in Malawi: The celebrity scandal grows as president Banda denies criticism


US Pop Star Madonna hugs Yasinta Chapomba, Executive Director for Mphandula Childcare Centre during her visit to the centre in Namitete, Malawi on April 5, 2013.


Amos Gumulira

Malawi's President, Joyce Banda, said she was furious over a statement her office issued labeling pop star Madonna a "bully."

Banda said she was unaware of the press release that accused Madonna of overstating her contribution to Malawi and demanding VIP treatment during visits.

Madonna responded to the criticism through a statement on her charity, Raising Malawi's, website.

In it she writes:

I came to Malawi seven years ago with honorable intentions. I returned earlier this month to view the new schools we built. I did not ever ask or demand special treatment at the airport or elsewhere during my visit. I will not be distracted or discouraged by other people’s political agendas. 

The president of Malawi was angered but is not expected to make a formal apology.

The mix-up is not the first bizarre incident arising from Madonna's recent charity visit to highlight the building of new schools.

The New York Daily News reported that Madonna wrote an error-filled, informal letter to the president in nearly illegible scrawl.