Malawi labels Madonna an "uncouth" bully in scathing attack

Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:55am EDT
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By Mabvuto Banda

LILONGWE (Reuters) - The Malawi government has branded pop star Madonna an "uncouth" bully who exaggerates her charitable work in the country and demands preferential treatment when she visits.

Malawi President Joyce Banda's government accused the "Material Girl" of bullying officials after she complained about her latest trip to the southern African country this month.

"Among the many things that Madonna needs to learn as a matter of urgency is the decency of telling the truth," said an 11-point statement from Malawi's State House.

Media reports said Madonna and her children were forced to join a check-in queue and go through security with ordinary passengers at a Malawi airport when they left the country.

The "Holiday" singer dismissed Malawi's comments as "lies" in a statement on the website of her Raising Malawi foundation.

"I'm saddened that Malawi's President Joyce Banda has chosen to release lies about what we've accomplished, my intentions, how I personally conducted myself while visiting Malawi and other untruths," Madonna said.

Malawi said Madonna expected the government to be forever chained in an "obligation of gratitude" towards her for adopting two Malawian children and contributing to the construction of classrooms in the country.

"Kindness, as far as its ordinary meaning is concerned, is free and anonymous. If it can't be free and silent, it is not kindness; it is something else," the statement said. "Blackmail is the closest it becomes."   Continued...

Madonna during a visit to Gumulira village, about 80 km (50 miles) from the Malawian capital Lilongwe, April 5, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Hutchings