Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Malawi, freedom fight (continued)

A growing European and US-educated African elite became increasingly vocal and politically active through associations and after the formation of the Nyasaland African Congress. After World War II (1939-1945) nationalist movements gained strength not only in Malawi but also in different parts of Africa.
In 1944 the Protectorate's first political movement was the formation of moderate NAC and in 1949 the British Govt. admitted the first Afrcans entry to the legilative council. In 1953 the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland (linking Nyasaland , Northern Rhodesia and Southern Rhodesia)was formed, over the strong opposition of Nyasaland's African population, who feared that the more aggressively white-oriented policies of Southern Rhoesia (Zimbabwe)would eventually be applied to them.In the mid-1950s the congress, headed by H.B.M.Chipembere and Kanyama Chiume, became more radical. In 1958 Dr, Hastings Kamuzu Bandabecame the leader of of the movement, which was renamed as the Malawi Congress Party(MCP) in 1959. Banda organised protests against the British rule that led to the declaratio of a state of emergency in 1959-60.The Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasalandended in 1963, and on July 6, 1964

Hastings Kamuzu Banda (1906-1997)
Nyasaland became Independent as Malawi.
Banda, a son of peasant parents, of the Chew Ethnic group
received a mission educationand left home at the age of 12 to work in Rhodesia and South Africa. He saved enough to travel to the United States, where he received a first egree in political sciencean subsequently qualified himself as a Meical Doctor. He then moved to Scotland, where he gained British meical qualifications, and from 1945 to 1953 practised as a doctor in Lonon and then in Ghana for five years. His political activities were aroused by oppositionto the Central African Federationformed in1953. He was invited to lead the Nyasaland African Congress an in 1960 he joined the MCP having returned after an absence of forty years. After outspoken attack on Federation, incluing a period of jail, he became the Prime Minister and achieved independence for Malawi in 1964.
But being an autocratic and deeply conservative individual, he quarrelled immediately with the younger and more radical members of his party, whom he ousted from office with the support of the British Governor general. He became President in 1966 and president for life in 1971. Malawi under his rule was peaceful but severely repressed, and econimc development wwas also slow. In his later years he was forced to accept multiparty election in 1994 in which Banda was defeated.

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