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Vol 53 No 8

Published 13th April 2012


New leader, new broom

Africa’s second female president faces a fickle parliament and a desperate economy

Joyce Banda, accepting promotion from Vice-President to President on the death of Bingu wa Mutharika, inaugurated her rule on 9 April by sacking the police chief, Peter Mukhito. It was an astute first move, as he was widely blamed for July’s crackdown, which left 20 protesters dead. However, Banda nearly didn’t make it. Although he died on 5 April, the late President’s cabinet tried keep his death secret and blocked Banda’s accession, hoping to sneak Foreign Minister Peter Mutharika into his brother’s post.

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