Hastings Kamuzu Banda

(c. 1902—1997) president of Malawi

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(b. 14 May 1906, d. 25 Nov. 1997).

President of Malawi 1966–94 A medical doctor born in Kasungu, he co‐founded and led the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) in opposition to White rule in the Central African Federation (1953–63). Emerging as the clear winner from the country's first elections in 1961, he became Prime Minister upon Malawi's independence on 6 July 1964. He became President in 1966 after the abolition of the power of the British Crown in Malawi, and declared himself president for life in 1971. He succeeded in establishing total control over the political system. In addition, he owned the two largest economic enterprises in the country, whose profits made him the country's richest man, financed the MCP, and provided funds for bribes and other illegal transactions. A frail man, he was forced by international pressure to concede democratic elections in 1994, which the MCP lost. He was subsequently charged with the murder in 1983 of three of his ministers and one deputy, who had been speculating on Banda's successor. He was acquitted in December 1995.

Subjects: Social Sciences — Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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