Malawi's new president takes charge with energy
BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) — In less than a week in office, Malawi's first woman president has shown decisiveness and energy that are no surprise to those who have watched her rise from being a women's development advocate.
In a largely conservative and patriarchal society, Joyce Banda was a surprise choice when Bingu wa Mutharika made her his running mate in 2009. Banda became president of this impoverished southern African country after the sudden death of Mutharika, with whom she had clashed even as she remained his vice president.
After Mutharika died April 5, the government took two days to confirm his death. The delay had led to speculation Banda's rivals were trying to prevent her from becoming president. Banda was sworn in April 7 to complete Mutharika's second term, which ends in 2014.