Cameron praises Malawi’s Joyce Banda in British Parliament on PM questions time

Malawi President Dr Joyce Banda on Wednesday won a ringing endorsement from the British Prime Minister David Cameroon at  Parliament, Westminister in London.

Cameron who met President Banda on Tuesday, hailed the Malawi leader for her brave reforms.

He was speaking during a traditional Wednesday Prime Minister’s questions time.  President Banda was in the Speaker’s gallery when Cameroon was making his statement, broadcast live on BBC and  Sky News.

The British premier was responding to Labour MP, Tom Greatex who  asked: “The Prime Minister will be aware that this week marks the bicentenary of the birth of Dr David Livingstone—born in Blantyre in my constituency, buried in Westminster abbey—which was marked by a service attended by President Joyce Banda last night in the abbey. He will know that one of Livingstone’s proudest achievements was the drive to abolish slavery in east Africa.

President Banda and British Prime Minister  David Cameron hold bilateral discussions at Number 10 Downing Street in London
President Banda and British Prime Minister David Cameron hold bilateral discussions at Number 10 Downing Street in London

“Given the bicentenary, does the Prime Minister agree that it is now time for his Government to take the lead to end the scandal of the 2.5 million people in modern-day slavery or prostitution as a result of people trafficking?”

In his response, Cameron said it was his opportunity “ to praise President Banda for what she is doing to lift people out of poverty in Malawi, and to thank her for visiting Britain and Scotland this week.”

On slavery, Cameron observed that “ there is still modern-day slavery”, saying his government will continue take action to combat it.

President Banda visited the houses of parliament, palace of Westminster and interacted with UK MPs. Banda  made a presentation and answered questions from UK MPs.

In her presentation, the President said she was greatly honoured to be invited to the “august house and address you honourable Members”.

She informed them that she came to the United Kingdom to celebrate the life of Dr. David Livingstone who pioneered the great expedition to then Nyasaland over 150 years ago.

Dr. David Livingstone is the trailblazer of the cordial relations that exist between our countries in the realms of commerce, Christianity and cultural exchange, education and diplomacy, she observed.

Said President Banda:“As we commemorate the life and work of Dr. Livingstone here in his home country, let us also reflect on his sacrifices, hard work and passion for human dignity.

“His stand against slave trade, helped lead the abolition of East African Slave Trade in 1873. Dr. Livingstone believed and saw dignity in the people of Africa. Dr. Livingstone was a “brother’s keeper”.

President Banda also visited Buckingham Palace for a courtesy call on His Royal Highness The Duke of York-discussions around Malawi-UK.

She also had a meeting with Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, William Hague MP to continue on the general issues raised with the Prime Minister.

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