A statement issued by Madonna's charity Raising Malawi has addressed claims from Malawi's government relating to her behaviour on a recent trip.
I was very happy to visit with the children of Malawi earlier this month and to see with my own eyes the ten new primary schools in Kasungu province that Raising Malawi and buildOn completed this past year. These schools are now educating more than 4,800 children with girls attending in equal numbers.
I’m saddened that Malawi’s President Joyce Banda has chosen to release lies about what we’ve accomplished, my intentions, how I personally conducted myself while visiting Malawi and other untruths.
I have no intentions of being distracted by these ridiculous allegations. I came to Malawi seven years ago with honourable intentions. I returned earlier this month to view the new schools we built. I did not ever ask or demand special treatment at the airport or elsewhere during my visit. I will not be distracted or discouraged by other people’s political agendas. I made a promise to the children of Malawi and I am keeping that promise.
In the feeling of Madonna, the Malawi Government and its leadership should have rolled out the red carpet and blast the 21-gun salute in her honour because she believes that as a musician, the whiff of whose repute flies across international boundaries, she automatically is candidate for VVIP treatment.
Granted, Madonna is a famed international musician. But that does not impose an injunction of obligation on any government under whose territory Madonna finds herself, including Malawi, to give her state treatment. Such treatment, even if she deserved it, is discretionary not obligatory.
– Statemetn from Malawi President Joyce Banda's office
Malawi's state radio has confirmed that President Bingu wa Mutharika has died. Mr Mutharika suffered a cardiac arrest on Thursday.
The announcement brings to an end 24 hours of confusion after rumours spread of his death but there was no official announcement.
Vice-president Joyce Banda is due to hold a news conference today, officials said, as well as meet the Attorney General and head of the armed forces. She is expected to succeed Mr Mutharika although this has not been officially announced.