This article traces the post-presidency experiences of Malawi’s first head of state, Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, from 1994 to 1997. Most of what has been written about him has concentrated on his time as an active politician, starting from the late 1950s, when he led the struggle against British colonial rule, and when he was the country’s head of state, from 1964 to 1994, focusing on both domestic and foreign policies. The study follows in the footsteps of seminal works in the field, including that by Roger Southall and Henning Melber, focusing on the experiences of African ex-presidents. However, there is no published scholarly work on Malawi’s Kamuzu Banda. Relying primarily on archival sources, court records, parliamentary proceedings and media reports, this study analyses the former leader’s life after his presidency. It concentrates on his political life, the perceived political prosecution and persecution, the struggle to retain his private property, funding for his private school, ill health and his worries about Malawi’s ethnic and regional polarisation in the aftermath of the 1994 general elections. This article argues that, although Kamuzu Banda faced elements of political persecution and harassment when he left office, some of the blame must also be placed on his authoritarian style of leadership as the country’s president and the fact that he did not immediately retire from active politics after leaving office. On the other hand, we cannot rule out the fears that his successor, Bakili Muluzi, had about Banda’s lingering influence, which the new president wanted to minimise or eliminate.
Banda, P. C. (2023). Hastings Kamuzu Banda of Malawi: Post-Presidency Experiences, 1994–1997. Journal of Southern African Studies, 49(1), 67–84. https://doi.org/10.1080/03057070.2023.2176044