Malawi. A furious power struggle took up most of the
political leaders' time throughout the year. In 2005, the
former ruling party United Democratic Front (UDF) had
initiated a civil trial against the new president Bingu wa
Mutharika. violated a number of Parliament's rules. The
process appeared mainly as a revenge for forming his own
party and ordering corruption investigations against leading
UDFs. While the judicial process was almost halted, the
president went into counter-attacks against his enemies.
During the year, Vice President Cassim Chilumpha was placed
under house arrest following charges of attempted murder on
Wa Mutharika and President Bakili Muluzi was temporarily
arrested on corruption charges. The head of the
anti-corruption authority, the Chancellor of Justice and the
Prosecutor General were dismissed for deficiencies in the
handling of the charges against the Vice President and the
President. The president himself got worried after the
Constitutional Court deprived him of almost all of his
political support by deposing the 70 MPs elected for the UDF
but switched over to his new party. As a result, the
opposition was again free to try to get the president
deposed. Political veteran Chakufwa Chihana died at age 67.
He led the opposition for many years against Malawi's
authoritarian First President Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
Although almost all of today's political leadership has a
background in opposition to Banda, the old dictator was
honored with a stately new mausoleum, erected for the
equivalent of over SEK 4 million.
CountryAAH, the Malawian population, whose average life expectancy
has dropped to 36 years due to the AIDS epidemic and half of
them are starving, received a small distraction from a visit
by the world artist Madonna. She left the country with a
one-year-old orphanage that she wanted to adopt. It sparked
a heated debate about how wealthy celebrities can get courts
in poor countries to see between the fingers of the law in a
way that virtually sanctions human trafficking.