US senior senators meet Malawi President

Two senior United States of America (USA) Senators on Thursday paid a courtesy call on President Joyce Banda at her official Lilongwe State Lodge in the Capital City, pledging their support in the re-establishment of close ties between Malawi and the US.

Michael Enzi, Wyoming Republican Senator and Kent Conrad of North Dakota met President Banda to condole her on the death of late President Bingu wa Mutharika on April 6, 2012. They also congratulated President Banda on her ascendancy to the Highest Office of the land.

Under tight security, the Senators were quickly driven away from the State Lodge after their audience with President Banda, with their aides indicating they would not talk to the press.

President Banda and senior US senators

But a senior aide of President Banda briefed journalists that the US Senators hailed Malawians for the peaceful and smooth transition that saw the rise of President Banda as Head of State after the passing on of late President Mutharika.

“They pledged US support in Malawi’s economic recovery efforts,” she said, declining to be identified.

She said on her part “Her Excellency Mrs. Banda” thanked the US Government its solidarity with her during the transition. She said Banda had recognized the role the US Embassy in Malawi played during that period as it constantly monitored the goings-on in the country “at that difficult time”.

Banda pledged that during her reign, she shall ensure that all bad laws on the statutes are repealed and restore constitutional order in a country that one month ago had been deserted by former close Western allies including Britain and America owing to its deteriorating governance record under the late Mutharika.

Banda also requested the two senior Senators to support her plea for the restoration of the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA) for Malawi suspended a couple of months ago due to concerns of misrule and human rights abusers under the administration of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). Under the MCA, Malawi could have accessed millions of dollars in US aid.

Michael Enzi, AKA Michael Bradley Enzi, is a US Republican Senator from Wyoming. He has been US Senator, Wyoming since 1997 but he has also served as a Wyoming State Senate between1991 and 1996; Wyoming State House of Representatives between1987 and 1991; and Mayor of Gillette, Wyoming between 1975-83, among other public offices that he has served in.

Senator Kent Conrad has dedicated his life to serving the people of North Dakota, starting with his six years as North Dakota’s Tax Commissioner before his successful 1986 bid for the U.S. Senate. North Dakotans have sent Senator Conrad to represent them in Washington, D.C. in five successive elections.

His public service to North Dakota and the nation has won him acclaim for his effectiveness and budget acumen. Time magazine featured Senator Conrad as one of “America’s Ten Best Senators,”

The American magazine ranked him as one of “10 Most Economically Literate Members of Congress,” and the Bismarck Tribune called Senator Conrad “the most influential senator North Dakota has ever produced.”

President Banda welcoming the US senators
Exchanging gifts: US official with Malawi's First Gentleman, retired chief judge Richard Banda
Talks: US senators with Malawi President Joyce Banda

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