A new building which will be headquarters for Malawi's Congress Party was opened in the country's capital Lilongwe, on Thursday (20 October).
LVs EXTERIOR: new Congress Party headquarters (3 shots)
SV AND CU: Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda standing in rear of open car moving through crowd of singing and dancing women (5 shots)
SCU: President Banda cuts ribbon across entrance.
CU: plaque on outside wall.
CU: women waiting outside (2 shots)
SV AND CU: Dr Banda climbs into rear of car, waves to crowd
SV AND CU: Dr Banda waves fly whisk in time to music as women sing and dance.
SV PAN: Dr Banda's car drives away surrounded by swaying women.
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Background: A new building which will be headquarters for Malawi's Congress Party was opened in the country's capital Lilongwe, on Thursday (20 October). The building cost more than $1,000,000.
SYNOPSIS: The ruling Congress party has been Malawi's only political party since the country became a republic 11 years ago. Its new headquarters is one of many new buildings in Lilongwe, which has taken over from Zomba as the country's capital.
Dr Hastings Kamuzu Banda, Life President of the Republic, arrived in style to perform the opening ceremony at what seemed like a fiesta occasion for Lilongwe.
Dr Banda is becoming a practiced ribbon snipper. While many African countries are experiencing economic problems, Malawi's agricultural-based economy is in comparatively good shape, and there are a number of new development projects currently underway there.
The Congress party's annual convention will be held at its new headquarters over the next week, under the banner: "Building the Nation".
Dr Banda directed Malawi's evolution from the British protectorate of Nyasaland to independence in 1964. When it became a republic, he declared it a one-party state. He thinks of himself as a father figure to his people.
But he admits he is an autocrat, and has crushed all opposition. To criticise him is an offence, and the country's jails are filled with dissenters. However development of Malawi had been steady, and Dr Banda challenges his critics to show any other African country where the people are "well fed, well dressed, and behave like true ladies and gentlemen".