President Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda

14 May 2020  Thu

Born in the year 1898, Hastings Kamuzu Banda was the leader of Malawi and its predecessor state, Nyasaland, from 1961 to 1994.

After receiving much of his education overseas, Banda returned to his home country (then British Nyasaland) to speak against colonialism and advocate for independence. In 1963, he was formally appointed prime minister of Nyasaland and led the country to independence as Malawi a year later. Two years later, he proclaimed Malawi a republic with himself as president.

He consolidated power and later declared Malawi a one-party state under the Malawi Congress Party (MCP). In 1970, the MCP made him the party's President for Life. In 1971, he became President for Life of Malawi itself. He died in South Africa in 1997. His legacy remains controversial, with some hailing him as a national and African hero, while others denounce him as a tyrant and as a corrupt leader.

On 6 July 1964, Nyasaland became independent from British rule and renamed itself Malawi. The early notes of the country featured the portrait of the National Hero of Malawi. The above-shown 5 Pounds banknote 1964 depicts, on obverse, the portrait of Dr. Hastings Kamuzu Banda - first president of Malawi at left, fisherman in boat on Lake Malawi at center. The reverse depicts Tea Pickers at the foothills of Mount Mulanje.

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