US commends Joyce Banda’s ‘bold actions’

The United States commends the bold actions taken by Malawi’s President Joyce Banda since her inauguration last month.

In a statement issued by acting spokesperson for US State Department, Mark C. Toner, the Obama administration said  President Banda in her State of the Nation address  “articulated a positive vision for Malawi’s future.”

“Fulfilling this vision would put Malawi on sounder financial footing, invest more in the potential of its people, and better protect the human rights of its citizens,” said the statement made available to Nyasa Times.

President Joyce Banda at Mtunthama State Lodge. Photo by Fally Ngalauka/Nyasa Times

“ As Malawi’s largest donor, the United States remains committed to working with President Banda and all Malawians to achieve these goals,” the  the U.S. State Department spokesman said.

Banda, who assumed the presidency in April after the death of president Mutharika.

President Banda  announced on Friday in Parliament her government’s plans to repeal a number of laws that have made Malawi into a pariah state, from its ban on homosexuality to broad police powers of search and arrest, to a law that allows cabinet ministers to shut down newspapers.

Mutharika died in office in April. Banda, who was vice president, stepped in to serve out his term which ends in 2014.

Britain has already called for urgent action to prevent a Greece-style financial crisis in Malawi after problems Banda inherited and her recent abrupt currency devaluation left the new government with a gaping hole in its budget.

The 33 percent currency devaluation – although widely recommended by economists – has put huge strain on the treasury, and on many ordinary Malawians, as the price of imported goods has soared.

President Joyce Banda at Mtunthama State Lodge. Photo by Fally Ngalauka/Nyasa Times

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