Funds crunch in Malawi delays adoption check-up on Madonna

Updated: 2007-08-11 22:01

BLANTYRE - A government funds crunch is delaying a home visit to pop star Madonna and her husband, which is part of the procedure to allow them to adopt a one-year-old boy from Malawi, a welfare officer said Saturday.

Pop star Madonna holds David Banda during a visit to Mphandula village in Malawi in April 2007. [AFP]

"There are no adequate financial resources for the inspection, but as soon as the government has money, we will do it," Penston Kilembe, director of Malawi's Ministry of Women and Child Development,told AFP.

Kilembe has been mandated by the country's high court to carry out the inspection.

Malawi is being run on piecemeal funds as a national budget is yet to be debated and passed following a rift between the minority government of President Bingu wa Mutharika and the country's powerful opposition.

Under an 18-month interim order granted to Madonna to adopt the Malawian toddler David Banda, the pop star should be visited at her home twice, Kilembe said.

He said the first inspection was due last month, and the last one should be done in April.

Kilembe said he was the only officer able to do the check-up, contradicting his minister Kate Kainja who said another officer currently studying in Britain should do the job to save funds.

Kainja, who is in Britain on a personal trip, told a local newspaper last week that Madonna, who would be required to fund Kilembe's trip to Britain, should not spend money on government officials.

"Let Madonna use that money on David (...). She should not spend more money on us", Kainja was quoted as saying.

Baby David has been living with Madonna and her husband, film-maker Guy Ritchie, since a court in Malawi granted them in October last year an interim order for 18 months.

Under that order, the high court appointed Kilembe as Banda's temporary guardian.

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