US pop star Madonna arrived in Malawi Monday morning amid accusations of abandoning construction of a multi-million dollar girls’ school.
Madonna has not been in Malawi for the last two years and now faces a new administration under President Joyce Banda.
Kamuzu International Airport (KIA) immigration officials in the capital, Lilongwe confirmed that Madonna arrived at 9am local time.
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 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 capital Lilongwe collapsed in 2011, and the board of her Raising Malawi Charity was fired.
This angered Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo, sister to President Banda, a development worker Madonna hired as chief executive officer of the $15 million Raising Malawi Academy for Girls.
She fell out with Mtila-Oponyo, now Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education, and other local staff when a report accused them of expropriating funds to spend on luxury cars and golf membership. Mtila-Oponyo and others sued Madonna’s foundation for wrongful termination of contract.
In March last year, the Ministry of Education accused Madonna of being more interested in promoting her global image than helping with education there.
Unconfirmed reports say that Madonna is expected to meet the President before touring some of her projects in the country.
The President last year told the British newspaper Telegraph 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.