LATEST: Pop superstar Madonna's plans to complete the adoption process for baby David Banda have been thrown into confusion after conflicting reports about a key welfare official's flight to the U.K.
On Saturday (04Aug07) the director of Malawi's child welfare services Penston Kilembe said financial difficulties had prevented him travelling to London in May (07) to determine whether Banda can be officially adopted by the Music hitmaker and her husband Guy Ritchie. The couple brought him back to the U.K. from a Malawian orphanage last October (06).
However, he now claims money had nothing to do with his absence - and Malawi's Minister of Women and Child Development Kate Kainja barred him from making the trip instead.
The Malawi News newspaper reports the minister was angry with Kilembe for obtaining an air ticket and money from Madonna without seeking government approval first.
Kainja tells the paper, "We have already contacted Madonna that someone else and not Kilembe will come to asses her, because we feel Mr. Kilembe personalised the whole issue when other people can go."
Kilembe denies asking Madonna to fund his trip, adding of the confusion, "What this means is that the whole adoption process may crumble and David sent back to his village."
The High Court of Malawi appointed Kilembe to visit David Banda in his new home twice before deciding whether Madonna's adoption should be formalised in a hearing next year (08).