Malawi, officially the Republic of Malawi, is a landlocked country in southeast Africa that was formerly known as Nyasaland. It is bordered by Zambia to the northwest, Tanzania to the northeast, and Mozambique on the east, south and west. The country is separated from Tanzania and Mozambique by Lake Malawi. Malawi is over 118,000 km2 (45,560 sq mi) with an estimated population of more than 13,900,000. Its capital is Lilongwe, which is also Malawi's largest city; the second largest is Blantyre and the third is Mzuzu. The name Malawi comes from the Maravi, an old name of the Nyanja people that inhabit the area. The country is also nicknamed, "The Warm Heart of Africa".From Capital FM: New Malawi president purges Mutharika allies
The area of Africa now known as Malawi was colonized by migrating tribes of Bantu around the 10th century. In 1891 the area was colonized again, this time by the British. In 1953 Malawi, then known as Nyasaland, became part of the semi-independent Central African Federation (CAF). The Federation was dissolved in 1963 and in 1964, Nyasaland gained full independence and was renamed Malawi.
Upon gaining independence it became a single-party state under the presidency of Hastings Banda, who remained president until 1994, when he was ousted from power. Joyce Banda (no relation) is the current president, raised to that position after president Bingu Mutharika died in 2012. Malawi has a democratic, multi-party government. Malawi has a small military force that includes an army, a navy and an air wing. Malawi's foreign policy is pro-Western and includes positive diplomatic relations with most countries and participation in several international organizations.
LILONGWE, Apr 10 – Malawi’s new President Joyce Banda on Tuesday unveiled a shake-up of top officials charged with government finances and media, purging loyalists of the late leader Bingu wa Mutharika.
“Although we are in mourning, certain decisions cannot wait,” Banda told a news conference in the capital Lilongwe, three days after taking office.
She also announced an investigation into the mysterious murder of student activist Robert Chasowa. Mutharika’s critics have accused police of staging a hit against Chasowa, implicating former police chief Peter Mukhito, who was sacked on Monday.
“As a mother, I feel for my fellow mother who doesn’t know what killed her son. I understand how painful it is, and I will make sure we find out who killed our son Chasowa,” Banda said.
“We don’t want people to go about murdering people fearlessly.” Top among Banda’s new appointments was Mary Nkosi as Reserve Bank governor, making her the first woman to hold the job.
A long-time deputy governor, she replaces Perks Ligoya, a close ally of Mutharika who pursued a rigid exchange rate policy that the International Monetary Fund has blamed for much of Malawi’s economic woes.
She named a new secretary to the Treasury, appointing career bureaucrat Radson Mwadiwa, who also becomes chairman of the state-owned Malawi Savings Bank.
Banda sacked Patricia Kaliati, the information minister who publicly insisted that Mutharika was alive more than one day after his death on Thursday.
The new minister is Moses Kunkuyu, a parliamentarian who broke away from Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party to press for reforms.
She also sacked the head of the Malawi Broadcasting Corporation, Bright Malopa, another Mutharika ally who used state media to campaign against Banda after her expulsion from the DPP.
The new director general is Benson Tembo, a veteran broadcaster and former diplomat whose last posting was as ambassador to Zimbabwe.