Biography of Hastings Banda,Origin,Education,Policies,Achievements,Family,Death

Biography of Hastings Banda,Origin,Education,Policies,Achievements,Family,Death


Biography of Hastings Banda Hastings Banda
was the first president of Malawi formerly known as Nyasaland and the leader of the Malawi
nationalist movement. He ruled Malawi from 1963 to 1994, using totalitarian political
controls and conservative economic policies. Banda’s birthday was officially given as
May 14, 1906, but he was believed to have been born before the turn of the century,
around 1898. At the time of his birth,there were no birth registrations. He was the son
of subsistence farmers. He left his village school for his maternal grandparents’ home
and attended Chayamba Secondary School in Chikondwa. In 1908, he moved to Chilanga mission
station and was baptized therein 1910. Around 1915–1916 Banda set out on foot with an
uncle who had been a teacher for Hartley, Southern Rhodesia now Zimbabwe. In 1917, he
left on foot again for Johannesburg in South Africa. He worked there for several years.
During this time, he got to know Bishop William Tecumseh Vernon of the African Methodist Episcopal
Church (AME). Bishop William offered to pay his tuition fee at a Methodist school in the
United States if he could pay his own passage. In 1925, he left for New York in the United
States.He received a B.A. in 1931 and a medical degree in 1937 at the University of Chicago
and Meharry Medical College in Tennessee, respectively. In order to achieve the qualifications
needed to practice in the British Empire, Banda then continued his studies at the University
of Edinburgh and subsequently practiced in northern England and London from 1945 to 1953.
Banda first became involved in his homeland’s politics in the late 1940s when white settlers
in the region began asking for the federation of the Rhodesias and Nyasaland. Banda and
others in Nyasaland strongly objected to this plan they saw as an extension of white dominance.
However the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland was established in 1953. From 1953 to 1958,
Banda practiced medicine in Ghana, but from 1956 he was under increasing pressure from
Nyasa nationalists to return home; he finally did so to a big welcome in 1958. He went round
the country giving anti-federation speeches, and the colonial government held him responsible
for increasing African resentment and disturbances. In March 1959 a state of emergency was declared,
and the British authorities had him arrested and imprisoned. He regained his freedom in
April 1960, and a few months later he accepted British constitutional proposals granting
Africans in Nyasaland a majority in the Legislative Council. Banda’s party emerged winner of
the general elections held in August 1961. He served in the capacity of minister of natural
resources and local government from 1961 to 1963, and he became prime minister in 1963,
the year the federation was finally dissolved. He retained the position of prime minister
when Nyasaland gained independence in 1964 under the name of Malawi. Banda himself chose
the name “Malawi” for the newly independent country.Soon after independence,some members
of Banda’s cabinet resigned in protest against Banda’s autocratic methods and his accommodation
with South Africa and the Portuguese colonies. In 1965 a rebellion broke out; championed by
Henry Chipembere, one of the former ministers, but it failed to hold in the country side.
In 1966, Malawi became are public and Banda ruled over a rigid, autocratic one-party regime,
maintained firm control over all aspects of the government, and jailed or executed his
political opponents. Banda himself bluntly said about his leadership style; “Everything
is my business. Everything.Anything I say is law…literally law.” He was declared president
for life in 1971. Banda focused on building up his country’s infrastructure and increasing
agricultural productivity. He established friendly trading relations with minority-ruled
South Africa, and to the disappointment of many other African leaders,his foreign-policy
orientation was quite pro-Western.Malawi was more or less a police state. Mail was opened
and often edited. Telephones were tapped, and calls were cut off if anyone said a critical
word about Banda or the government. Banda encouraged the people to report those who
criticized him. Opponents were often arrested, exiled or died under suspicious circumstances.It
was only a matter of time before domestic protests became widespread and Western financial
aids were withdrawn from Malawi. Banda was then forced to legalize other political parties
in 1993. Subsequently, he was voted out of office in the country’s first multiparty
presidential elections which held in 1994, and in 1996 he give up the leadership of the
Malawi Congress Party.In 1995, Banda was arrested and charged with the murder of former cabinet
colleagues ten years earlier. He was however acquitted due to lack of evidence.A statement
of apology was issued on the 4th of January 1996 in the name of H. Kamuzu Banda to the
nation shortly after being acquitted in the Mwanza Trials. The statement was met with
suspicion and disdain. It was also questioned whether Banda actually wrote the statement
himself or if someone wrote it on his behalf. In the statement, he begged for forgiveness
for any wrong doing under his regime. Banda died at the City Garden Clinic in Johannesburg,
South Africa on the 25th of November 1997, aged 99. Although he was buried in an elaborate
ceremony, in the decade after his death there were calls for a more substantial memorial
for the country’s first president. Construction of a mausoleum with provision for a library
and a dancing arena was begun in 2005 to remember the country’s first president. In 2009 a
bronze statue of Banda was also erected. From the 10th of April 1995, when former India
Prime Minister Morarji Desai died, Banda was the world’s oldest living former head of government
until he died in 1997.Banda had no known heirs but had a vast fortune that is managed by
his family. He was unmarried at the time of his death. His affair and relationship with
Englishwoman Merene French remains largely a mystery. It is claimed she bore him a son,
but officially Banda died childless. In 2010, Jumani Johans son claimed to be the son of
the late president and was still seeking DNA testing through the courts of Malawi when
he died at 45 years. What have we missed out of this biography of Banda? Let’s know
in the comment section. Will it be ridiculous to subscribe to our channel? If no, please
like this video, share and subscribe to our channel.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *