Thursday, 11 April 2013

‘Stop spreading lies’ - Madonna hits back at Malawi President’s bully claims of star

US performer Madonna greets volunteers at the Mphandura orpahange near Lilongwe, Malawi Friday April 5, 2013.

MADONNA has hit back at bullying claims by Malawi’s president – accusing Joyce Banda of “spreading lies”.

The superstar was reportedly angered after the country’s government did not treat her like a VIP on a recent visit to the African nation. 
Her VIP treatment at the airport was revoked – meaning she and her staff had to line up with other passengers to be frisked by security, according to reports.

Head of state Ms Banda went on to accuse the singer, 54, of “bullying state officials” and expecting the country “to be forever chained to the obligation of gratitude” for building schools and helping poor children. 

But Madonna, whose charity Raising Malawi has built ten schools in the country, posted a picture today in protest at Ms Banda’s remarks. 

Malawi president Joyce Banda

And she wrote: “President Banda stop spreading lies about me! I’m trying to help the children of Malawi! Here I am standing in front of one of 10 schools I built with Build On in Malawi! Lies have no legs. Only the truth can stand!” 

Madonna’s comments came after Ms Banda’s government accused the star of waltzing into the country unannounced and making “poor people dance for her”. 

It also alleged the singer was demanding gratitude for adopting David Banda and Mercy James, both seven, from the country. 

A statement said: “Granted, Madonna has adopted two children from Malawi. According to the record, this gesture was humanitarian and of her accord. It therefore comes across as strange and depressing that for a humanitarian act, prompted only by her, Madonna wants Malawi to be forever chained to the obligation of gratitude.” 

Madonna posing with children in front of school in Malawi

Ms Banda’s government also claimed footballers Gary Neville and Rio Ferdinand have better manners than the star. 

It told a newspaper: "If the argument is that because she is an internationally renowned star, Madonna believes she deserved to be treated differently from other visiting foreigners, it is worth making her aware that Malawi has hosted many international stars, including Chuck Norris, Bono, David James, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville who have never demanded state attention or decorum despite their equally dazzling stature." 

Trevor Neilson, Madonna’s philanthropic advisor, claimed Ms Banda held a grudge against the star for firing her sister as head of Raising Malawi on suspicion of theft. 

He also told the BBC: “Madonna is the largest individual philanthropist in Malawi. We will continue to fund programmes that support children in Malawi.” 


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