Hastings Banda

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Hastings Banda

Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1896? – 25 November 1997) was the President of Malawi from 1966 to 1994. His date of birth is uncertain but he trained as a doctor in the United States and in Scotland in the 1930s. After representing Nyasaland at the Pan-Africanist Congress he became known as a politician and returned to his homeland in 1958; he then led the Malawi Congress Party to victory in elections and became Prime Minister in 1963. When Malawi obtained independence, his rule became dictatorial, kleptocratic and corrupt; he was forced from office by foreign investors who demanded a referendum on democracy, which Banda lost.


  • Douglas Brown: Dr Banda, what is the purpose of your visit?
    Hastings Banda: Well, I've been asked by the Secretary of State to come here.
    Brown: Have you come here to ask the Secretary of State a firm date for Nyasaland's independence?
    Banda: I won't tell you that.
    Brown: When do you hope to get independence?
    Banda: I won't tell you that.
    Brown: Dr Banda, when you get independence, are you as determined as ever to break away from the Central African Federation?
    Banda: Need you ask me that question at this stage?
    Brown: Well, this stage is as good as any other stage. Why do you ask me why I shouldn't ask you this question at this stage?
    Banda: Haven't I said that enough for everybody to be convinced that I mean just that?
    Brown: Dr Banda, if you break with the Central African Federation, how will you make out economically? After all, your country isn't really a rich country.
    Banda: Don't ask me that, leave that to me.
    Brown: In which way is your mind working?
    Banda: Which way? I won't tell you that.
    Brown: Where do you hope to get economic aid from?
    Banda: I won't tell you that.
    Brown: Are you going to tell me anything?
    Banda: Nothing.
    Brown: Are you going to tell me why you've been to Portugal?
    Banda: That's my business.
    Brown: In fact you're going to tell me nothing at all.
    Banda: Nothing at all.
    Brown: So it's a singularly fruitless interview?
    Banda: Well, it's up to you.
    Brown: Thank you very much.
  • Our talks were very pleasant, as usual. Remember I used to vote Labour when I was here.
    • "Dr. Banda Denies Civil War", The Times, 12 December 1964, p. 6.
    • Remarks to the press after talks with Harold Wilson, 11 December 1964.

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