#Madonna jets into Malawi, faces govt condemnation over abandoned school project

Madonna in Malawi in 2006
Madonna in Malawi in 2006
US pop star Madonna arrived in Lilongwe on Monday morning amidst accusations of abandoning the construction of the $15 million girls’ school.
Immigration and security officials at Lilongwe’s Kamuzu International Airport confirmed that Madonna arrived at 9 AM local time on a private jet.
The singer, who has adopted two children from Malawi, came under-fire when she announced in January last year her Raising Malawi charity was teaming up with the non-profit group buildOn to construct the schools, which would educate at least 1,000 children a year.
Madonna’s earlier plan to build a state of the art girls school for about 400 girls just outside the Malawi capital Lilongwe collapsed in 2011, and the board of her Raising Malawi charity was fired.
This angered Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo, sister to President Joyce Banda, a development worker Madonna hired as CEO of the Raising Malawi Academy for Girls.
She fell out with the charity’s local staff including President Banda’s sister when a report accused them of expropriating funds to spend on luxury cars and golf membership. She and others sued Madonna’s foundation for wrongful termination.
Malawi’s department of education last year in March accused Madonna of being more interested in promoting her global image than helping with education there.
Madonna has not been in Malawi for the last two years and now faces a new administration under President Joyce Banda.
Unconfirmed reports say that Madonna is expected to meet President Joyce Banda before touring some of her projects in the country.
President Banda last year told the British Telegraph newspapers that she was not happy with Madonna’s adoption of children in Malawi and her decision to abandon the girls’ school.
Malawi has over a million children most of them orphaned by the AIDS epidemic and is ranked by the United Nations as one of the world’s 20 least developed countries.