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Bakili Muluzi

From Academic Kids

Elson Bakili Muluzi (born March 17, 1943) was the president of Malawi from 1994 until 2004.

He became president in May 1994, elected to replace then-strongman Hastings Kamuzu Banda, and was reelected in 1999. In 2002 he proposed an amendment to the Malawi constitution that would have allowed him to run for a third term, but this was abandoned due to demonstrations. He therefore stepped down after elections in May 2004, which were won by the candidate of his party, the United Democratic Front. He remains, as of early 2005, the head of the UDF, and after a dispute with his successor as president, Bingu wa Mutharika, Mutharika left the UDF.

Muluzi's time as president was marred by controversy and scandal, particularly the sale of Malawi's reserves of maize, or corn, to other countries shortly before the onset of a drought with resultant famine throughout the country. Despite international pressure, the millions of dollars realized from the sale of Malawi's food reserves have never been found, and it is widely suspected that it wound up in foreign accounts belonging either to Muluzi alone or to Muluzi and key supporters.

Muluzi came to lead the UDF after leaving the Banda government and becoming an advocate for democracy. His political career, however, was fraught with controversy before he became president. Even in his youth, Muluzi spent time in prison for stealing money from a fund for divorced women and single mothers. And it was further accusations that lead to his split with the Banda government.

Even with the controversy and questionable dealings, Muluzi was a very popular leader, particularly among the populous southern part of the country.His tenure will probably go down in history of Malawi as the most corrupt regime to have ruled the country.



Preceded by:
Hastings Kamuzu Banda
President of Malawi
1994–2004
Succeeded by:
Bingu wa Mutharika

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