Malawi’s President Joyce Banda did not know about a statement from her office labelling US singer Madonna a bully, the BBC has been told.

The president was “furious” over the harshly-critical statement that was issued following Madonna’s recent visit to the country, sources said.

The statement accused Madonna of exaggerating her contribution to the country and demanding VIP treatment.

Madonna, who was visiting her charity in Malawi, hit back at the criticisms.

She described them as “lies” and said she began her involvement in Malawi seven years ago “with honourable intentions”.

‘Red carpet’

Emily Banda, head of Malawi’s NGO board, told the BBC that President Banda “did not approve” or indeed know about the statement purportedly put out by her office on Wednesday.

In it, the statement accused the star of wanting Malawi “to be forever chained to the obligation of gratitude”.

It claimed Madonna believed the government should have “rolled out a red carpet and blast the 21-gun salute” upon her arrival in Malawi.

And accused her telling “the whole world that she is building schools in Malawi when she has actually only contributed to the construction of classrooms”.

In response, Madonna’s charity Raising Malawi said in a statement that she “did not ever ask or demand special treatment at the airport or elsewhere” during her visit and would not “be distracted or discouraged by other people’s political agendas”.

Madonna said in the the statement that she saw “with my own eyes the 10 new primary schools in Kasungu province that Raising Malawi… completed this year,” during her recent visit.


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