Country of the World Malawi

About the country Malawi, its location, size, population, leaders and rulers.




Lay of the Land: A long narrow country (50-110 mi. wide) in eastern Africa, Malawi hugs the western coast of Lake Malawi for 360 mi. From top to bottom, Malawi is 510 mi. long. Lake Malawi (Nyasa) is nestled in the bottom of the Great Rift Valley, which traverses the country north to south. High plateaus rise from the lake. In the north, the Nyika Uplands reach heights of 8,000 ft., and in the south the Shire Highlands rise as high as 10,000 ft. The Zomba Plateau near the former capital is extremely impressive and is one of the country's chief tourist attractions.

Size: 45,746 sq. mi. (118,484 sq. km.).

Population: 5.4 million.

Who Rules: The Malawi Congress party is the only legal party; all adults are expected to belong. Parliament consists of 87 elected members, but the electorate are given a choice of only one candidate an MCP member. There are also 15 appointed members; these are usually whites appointed directly by the president.

Who REALLY Rules: Dr. Hastings Kamuza Banda pulls all the strings. In 1970 he put through legislation that made him president for life. His Excellency, as Banda is called locally, expects the population to echo all his thoughts. His voice is heard over the radio several times daily, and anyone not seriously listening can be imprisoned. All facets of government are personally seen to by His Excellency.

Dress requirements are stringent and specific. Women are not allowed to wear dresses short enough to show the crease of the back of the knee; they may not wear shorts at all and wigs are also forbidden. Men may not have hair below their earlobes, or wear short shorts, tight trousers, flared trousers, or trousers with cuffs that are too wide.

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