Malawi has a new State President, she is Her Excellency Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda, aged 62. She now assumes the status of the Commander-in-Chief of the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) and the Malawi Police Service (MPS). She was recognised by the military through a Guard of Honour and a 26 gun salute outside parliament chambers in the capital city Lilongwe.
The following is the chronology of the swearing-in ceremony on 07th April 2012, Saturday as members of parliament and other dignitaries, including members of the diplomatic corps are seated.
17:04pm –Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) presenters Joyful Paliani, Peter Makawa, Charles Vintulla take their positions and start coverage.
17:07pm – Entry of judges’ procession into parliament chambers led by Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo. All stand up in respect, including cabinet ministers, plus Henry Mussa, Vuwa Kaunda, and Dr. Jean Kalilani who earlier Saturday said Banda cannot be given leadership since she was excelled from the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) to formulate the Peoples Party (PP), ministers Goodall Gondwe, Sidik Mia, Ken Lipenga, and John Bande among many others.
17:09pm. All three branches of government, legislature, parliament, and executive (cabinet) – all seated.
17:11pm. Arrival of Vice President Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda walks in with MDF Commander General Henry Odillo and Malawi Police Service (MPS) Inspector General Peter Mukhito. Her husband retired Chief Justice Richard Banda and security detail part of the group.
(People ululating and chanting as she waves back).
17:14pm.Banda seated and master of ceremony calls her president to cheers in the chamber.
17:16pm. State House Special Assistant to the President on Religious Affairs Reverend Billy Gama reads from Isaiah 55 v 8. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts. Neither are your ways my ways. Says the Lord” to loud cheers.
He also reads from Romans 13, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher hours… for there is no power the powers that be are ordained by god. Whosoever therefore resists the power resists the ordinance of god. And they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation” toeven more cheers in the chamber.
He offers prayer: “This is a special day as it has pleased You (God) to inaugurate the President of the Republic of Malawi. We cannot do anything without inviting you for this is Your day.
“May you Lord bring us together as the nation of Malawi, show us the spirit of reconciliation, trhe spirit of unity and the spirit of love.
This is the new beginning of Malawi and indeed of celebrating the nation and sit together and sing the song of Malawi”.
17:20pm. Prayer over to heavy clapping and ululation.
17:21pm. Master of Ceremony hands over event to the Registrar of the High Court, Mrs. Joyce Kamanga.
17:21pm. Mrs. Kamanga calls on the Chief Justice to present the Oath.
17:22pm. Chief Justice leads Banda in reading the declaration on swearing in, “It been established in the Constitution… for the remainder of the term herein…”
17:23pm. Chief Justice serves the Oath using Section 81, subsection 1 of the Constitution. Chief Justice walks to the swearing in/presidential podium first then Banda and husband also walk to podium.
17:23pm. Banda is handed the Holy Bible.
17:24pm. Chief Justice reads the Oath and Banda repeats after him, “I Joyce Hilda Mtila Banda solemnly swear… So help me God!”
17:25pm. Hand clapping and ululating, chanting boma boma boma…! (government, government…!) Her Excellency the State President of the Republic of Malawi, Banda, walks back to take the Presidential seat – next to Chief Justice and her husband.
17:26pm. The Oath book is brought to her attention and she puts pen to paper, signing the oath. Women singing ‘Oh saina!’ (Go ahead and sign!). Chief Justice also pends his signature (Heavy singing from entire Parliament in support. Dancing as the two sign).
17:28pm. Shakes hands with Chief Justice then husband in celebration and luck wishing gesture. (Waves to crowd – people chanting ‘Amayi, amayi…..!’ (Our mother, our mother..!) and waving scuffs.
17:29pm. A military officer marches in with the Presidential Sword of Command.
17:30pm to hand over the presidential sword of command for leadership to General Odillo, hands it over to General Odillos’s aide-camp who hands it over to the military chief. Gen. Odillo hands over the sword to President Banda and salutes. She shows it around. Before handing it over to an aide.
17:31pm. Starts to deliver her Acceptance speech with all salutations.
“This is a unique occasion.” (Started with asking all to stand for two minutes of silence to offer respect of late Bingu wa Wutharika’s soul.
“May his soul rest in peace.”
17:34pm. Speech.”I am not here to give a long speech considering the circumstances we are in. Let us focus on mourning our father, former president Mutharika.
“I also would like to report to all you people that this afternoon I had a cabinet meeting. We felt the holy spirit in that room. It was a good meeting, as a nation we should realise that, because it was significant and marks a starting point for healing the wounds of this nation…”
“I thank you all for showing me great humility and honour as I accept the huge responsibility. I also thank you all for the peaceful transition and I appeal to the nation to mourn the former president with dignity and thank all of you who have come to witness this occasion from all walk of life irrespective of political, spiritual, regional backgrounds…”
“I want to ask all of us to move into the future with hope and the spirit of oneness and unity. I sincerely hope there is no room for revenge, that we shall stand united…
17:37pm. Summarise her speech: “As a God fearing nation we shall allow God to come before us because if we do not do that, we have failed.”
17:38pm. The President, Speaker of the National Assembly Henry Chimunthu-Banda, the Chief Justice and the Secretary to the President in the Office of the President and Cabinet, Bright Msaka, take leave of the chamber for the new President to inspect a Guard of Honour as 21-gun salute is sounded.
1. Born 12 April 1950, from Zomba District
2. Took Vice Presidency oath in 2009
3. Minister of Foreign Affairs, 2006 – 2009
4. Min of Gender, Child and Women Affairs, 2004 – 2006
5. Board chair for the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation of Malawi (ADMARC)
6. Board chair for Malawi Communications Regulation Authority (MACRA)
7. Board chair for Malawi Housing Corporation (MHC)
8. President of the Peoples Party (PP), 2011
9. Presidential Running Mate for the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) – 2009
10. Secretary General for the DPP, 2005
11. Member of Parliament (MP), May 2004, 2009
12. National Director for the United Democratic Front (UDF), 2003
13. Member of the Global Council for Safe Motherhood, current
14. Formed the non-governmental organisation, the National Business
for Women (NABW, 1990
15. Helped in the establishment of the Hunger Project, 1998
1. Bachelors Degree of Science in Gender Studies, 2010, obtained at the Atlantic international, United States of America (USA)
2. Currently studying for a Masters Degree in Leadership through the Royal Lords University
3. Certificate on Board Chairing obtained in Canada
4. Diploma in International Relations
5. Secretarial Certificate, Polytechnic College of the University of Malawi
6. Cambridge Overseas 2nd Grade obtained from Providence Secondary school
Reading, community services, watching documentaries
Present at the swearing-in ceremony were politicians Brown Mpinganjira (PP), Uladi Mussa (MPP), Ralph Kasambara (CONU), Khumbo Kachale (PP), Joseph Njobvuyalema (MCP), and Bazooka Mhango, amongst many others.
The Attorney general Mr. Maxon Mbendera, and members of the diplomatic corps led by dean Dean Ms. Thandiwe Dumbutchena (Zimbabwe) also witnessed the short event.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :