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Madonna accused by Malawian government of expecting special treatment

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Madonna has been accused by the Malawi government of expecting special state treatment.

A strongly worded statement issued by President Joyce Banda's office (as published by the Nyasa Times) said that no "defined expectation and courtesy" need be followed by the state, after reports that the entertainer was unhappy about her treatment on a recent visit to the country.

Madonna with her children Mercy James and David Banda in Malawi ~~ April 5, 2013

© PA Images / Thoko Chikondi / AP

Madonna with her children Mercy James and David Banda on their recent visit to Malawi



Madonna and her entourage - which included her four children - were stripped of VIP status when leaving the country, according to a report in The Daily Telegraph.

A source at Kamuzu International Airport claimed that the entertainer had been left "very annoyed" as a result of her party having to go through the ordinary passenger terminal, instead of being fast-tracked as is usually the case with those afforded VIP status.

The statement said that the Malawi administration found it "strange and depressing that... Madonna wants Malawi to be forever chained to the obligation of gratitude" for having adopted son David Banda and daughter Mercy James in 2006 and 2009 respectively.

"Kindness, as far as its ordinary meaning is concerned, is free and anonymous," the statement continued. "If it can't be free and silent, it is not kindness; it is something else. Blackmail is the closest it becomes."

The government further argued that Madonna's status as a "famed international musician" does not mean that the country has an "obligation" to afford her special state treatment, adding: "Such treatment, even if she deserved it, is discretionary, not obligatory."

Madonna visits her Malawian school for a groundbreaking ceremony in 2009. The project was cancelled in 2011.

© PA Images / Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi / AP

Madonna attends a groundbreaking ceremony at a school in Malawi, October 2009



Noting that Madonna was not formally invited to the country by officials, the country's State House continued: "If the argument is that she is an internationally renowned star... it is worth making her aware that Malawi has hosted many international stars, including Chuck Norris, Bono, David James, Rio Ferdinand and Gary Neville, who have never demanded state attention or decorum despite their equally dazzling stature."

The statement also accused Madonna of exaggerating her Raising Malawi foundation's contributions to the building of schools in the country.

Trevor Neilson, who manages Madonna's Malawian projects, told Sky News: "Obviously these attacks are influenced by the fact that the president's sister was removed as the head of Madonna's organisation in Malawi due to concerns about mismanagement of $3.8m.

"As the largest private philanthropist to Malawi, we would think that the government would be pleased that she is giving her time and money to one of the poorest countries in the world."

Neilson added that any suggestions Madonna had demanded special treatment from Malawian officials were "nonsense".

However, the Malawi government denied any suggestion that President Banda's sister Anjimile Mtila-Oponyo had been "pulling the strings" against Madonna during her recent visit to the country.

Madonna's most controversial moments - photo gallery:

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