US pop star Madonna has said that she will continue supporting Malawian children because her work is all about them and not the country’s politicians.
Speaking through her manager Trevor Neilson, Madonna, who left Malawi on Saturday, said that she has not been treated fairly since she arrived in the poor southern African country.
“Madonna can continue her work here if the politicians don’t want to welcome her because her work is all about the children who are here. The politicians can stay,” Neilson told the press.
The reaction comes after Malawi launched a fresh attack on the material girl and labelled her a liar for claiming to have built 10 schools across the poor southern African nation.
The country’s President Joyce Banda also refused to meet Madonna and released her hand written letter to the press in which the pop diva was asking for an audience.
Madonna arrived in Malawi on Monday and started touring the school blocks in the central region of the country.
“Even donors are also surprised that government is treating Madonna like this when she is the biggest private donor in the country,” said Neilson.
Malawi’s education Minister Eunice Kazembe told Reuters in an interview on Tuesday that government was concerned that Madonna didn’t consult them about her new project.
“There is a misrepresentation out there that Madonna has built 10 schools in Malawi. That is not true because what she is building are school blocks within existing government schools,” she said.
But Neilson lashed out at Dr Anjimile Oponyo, sister to President Joyce Banda, accusing her using her position as Principal Secretary in the Education Ministry to create trouble for Madonna.
Oponyo was among the former staff that were fired by Madonna when she abandoned the school project.
“She is using her office to avenge on her personal grudge with Madonna and pursue her personal financial interest. We are surprised that she is doing that,” said Neilson.
He said Madonna is surprised that she has not been welcomed in the country by the Education Ministry.
“If the Education Ministry sees it as their job to create problems instead of creating a good relationship, it’s very surprising.
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 10 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 Lilongwe collapsed in 2011, and the board of her Raising Malawi charity was fired.
Her staff in Malawi later sued her for unfair dismissal and the two parties agreed on an out of court settlement.
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 more than half a million children orphaned by the AIDS epidemic and is ranked by the United Nations as one of the world’s 20 least developed countries.