Sat, Apr 13, 2013 - Page 6 News List

Madonna hits back at Malawi leader’s ‘lies’ over charity

CAUSING A COMMOTION:The Malawian government launched a scathing attack on Madonna, accusing her of bullying officials and saying that she is ‘uncouth’

AFP, BLANTYRE, Malawi

US pop icon Madonna on Thursday deepened a war of words with Malawi’s government, accusing them of peddling lies about her charity work.

Fresh from a trip to Malawi, the native country of her two adopted children, Madonna hit back after stinging accusations from the government that she had expected VIP treatment and lied about her charity work.

“I am saddened that 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 in a statement.

Banda’s government on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on Madonna in a four-page statement accusing her of being “uncouth” and of bullying state officials.

The statement said that if Madonna had her way “the Malawi government and its leadership should have rolled out a red carpet and blast the 21-gun salute in her honour.”

When leaving the country, the 54-year-old superstar was for the first time denied use of the VIP section at the airport in Lilongwe.

The government said the singer “wants Malawi to be forever chained to the obligation of gratitude” for having adopted two Malawian children.

“Kindness, as far as its ordinary meaning is concerned, is free and anonymous,” the government added in a four-page statement. “If it can’t be free and silent, it is not kindness; it is something else. Blackmail is the closest it becomes.”

Madonna denied “these ridiculous allegations.”

“I did not ever ask or demand special treatment at the airport or elsewhere during my visit,” she said.

During the trip she visited schools her charity has built, flanked by her four children, including David Banda and Mercy James who she adopted from the southern African nation.

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