Despite this the movement for reform was sweeping across
Africa. As such Banda was invited the following year for talks
in London to explore constitutional reform which led to
elections for a new Legislative assembly the following year, an
election which saw the Malawi Congress Party, the successor to
the Nyasaland African Congress, triumph with 94% of the vote.
This result paved the way for Nyasaland being granted
self-government with Banda as prime minister in 1963. What happened next, was oh so typical for a nation that had
struggled to free itself from what was seen as oppressive
Whilst independence was achieved on 6th July 1964 with
Nyasaland becoming the Republic of Malawi with Banda as
president, Banda established a one-party state with all
opposition movements denounced and their leaders detained. In
1971 Banda had himself elected president for life and secured
his position in power by regularly moving his ministers so that
none could emerge as a political rival.
By 1992 unrest against Banda's rule was growing, and foreign
donor countries began to suspend aid to Malawi in response to
growing concerns about its human rights record. However by 1993
Banda himself was becoming seriously ill and in 1994 the first
free democratic elections were held seeing Bakili Muluzi, the
leader of the United Democratic Front, being elected as
president with Banda retiring from public life, to die in 1997
from pneumonia in a South African hospital.
Muluzi was succeeded by his hand picked successor Bingu wa
Mutharika on 24th May 2004 who was to die in office of a heart
attack on 5th April 2012 to be succeeded by the then vice
president Joyce Banda
former minister of foreign affairs and womens' rights activist
having a strong commitment to education. Joyce Banda lost the
presidency in the May 2014 election to Peter Mutharika, younger brother of former president Bingu wa Mutharika, and leader of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP). The above video shows Malawi
history from the end of Banda's rule whilst the chart opposite
shows the emergence of Malawi from colonial rule.