Malawian President quietly celebrates 62nd birthday

Malawian President Joyce Hilda Banda celebrated her 62nd Birthday on Thursday without the usual pomp attached to such occasions by distinguished figures.

Her Excellency  Banda celebrated he birthday exactly five days after ascending to the presidential throne following the death of former President Bingu wa Mutharika who succumbed to a cardiac arrest.

Leading by example, the President observed her birthday quietly considering that the country is currently in a 30-day mourning period in honour of late President Mutharika.

President Banda in office on her birthday

She has, however, received full of pride wishes for her first birthday as the country’s head of state from her Peoples Party (PP) members and thousands of other Malawians from both within the country and in the Diaspora.

But President Banda spent her birthday undertaking government business, which included swearing-in of newly appointed Information and Civic Education Minister, Moses Kunkuyu, during a  function held at the Capital  Hill in Lilongwe, the seat of Malawi Government.

The Malawi leader also had an audience with a delegation from the Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company in Malawi.

The delegation was led by the company’s former Managing Director, Charles Graham, who was deported by late Mutharika in 2009 following disagreements over tobacco prices.

As part of celebrating her birthday, President JB told Graham, who now serves as Regional Director for African Operations at Universal Leaf Tobacco Co. Inc, that he was a free person in Malawi and must forget about the 2009 incident.

Limbe Leaf Tobacco Company, one of Malawi’s major tobacco buyers, is a subsidiary of Universal Leaf Tobacco Co. Inc.

Madame Banda spent part of her birthday in Lilongwe at her Area 12 residence with family members and  other people.

The new Malawi leader was born on April 12,1950 in the country’s colonial capital city of Zomba to a police officer who was also a musician for the police band.

Married to retired Malawi and Swaziland’s Chief Justice Richard Banda, the President ascending to the throne has inspired and given hope of a better tomorrow not only to Malawians but people of different races across the world.

She shares her birthday with, among others, South African President Jacob  Gedleyihlekisa  Zuma, who was born in 1942.

Nyasa Times editorial directors Thom ‘Twee’ Chiumia and Edgar Chibaka, based in England , also wished Her Excellency a happy birthday.

The editorial directors said they wished President Banda who was named the first  Nyasa Times personality of the year in 2010  “many happy returns” as they continue to express their “ optimism, her  love of Malawi and  her belief in the power of freedom.”

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