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Vol 45 No 2

Published 23rd January 2004


Malawi

Spot the difference

President Muluzi's legacy looks sadly like the late Dr Hastings Banda's

Facing polls in May, President Bakili Muluzi's United Democratic Front (UDF) is accused of the same offences as its autocratic predecessor under the late Kamuzu Hastings Banda (AC Vol 44 No 9). Malawi's most effective non-governmental organisations, its churches, blame it for human-rights abuses, corruption, nepotism and economic mismanagement. The main campaigning force of Muluzi's UDF, the violent Young Democrats (YDs), resemble Banda's feared Young Pioneers. Political opponents are bought off with state funds. The President appears to be using his business ties to help his chosen successor, Bingu wa Mutharika, into the presidency, perhaps hoping to carry on pulling the strings from retirement.

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