President Joyce Banda on Friday left the country for South Africa and Liberia where among others she expects to strengthen bilateral relationship with the countries.
Speaking at Chileka Airport in Blantyre, Banda who was seen off by among others a newly appointed 32-member cabinet of her inclusive government, said as a Malawian she wanted to personally thank President Jacob Zumaof South Africa for the support rendered during the death of president Bingu wa Mutharika.
“South African government took care of late Mutharika’s body when it was there; they helped with fuel and supported us in so many ways,” President Banda said.
“The least I can do is go there and show our gratitude,” said Banda, adding that she plans to hold talks that will strengthen the relationship with South Africa.
President Banda is also expected to fly into Liberia where she will meet with the first African female president Sirleaf Johnston who she said is her role model.
“Sirleaf and I have been friends for a long time. She is my role model and will visit her so that I can learn a thing or two about being a good leader,” said the Malawi leader.
There was pomp at the airport as the new ministers who have just been appointed came in large numbers to see off the new president.
Banda is expected to return home on Sunday.