Celebrity denies rumours that she is in the country to adopt another child

LILONGWE - Madonna flew into Malawi in a silver jet on Monday to continue her charity work in the impoverished southern African country, bringing along the Malawian boy she is in the process of adopting.

LILONGWE - Madonna flew into Malawi in a silver jet on Monday to continue her charity work in the impoverished southern African country, bringing along the Malawian boy she is in the process of adopting.

Police kept journalists at a distance, and a large white truck was positioned to obscure the view of photographers.

But a small child who looked like David Banda - the Malawian toddler the star is adopting - was seen being carried down the steps of the jet, and a child's seat was fixed into the waiting sports utility vehicle. Madonna followed, her golden hair blowing in the wind.

Her three-vehicle motorcade then drove off at top speed, followed by journalists.

Madonna visited Malawi last year and took custody of David, who was in an orphanage after the death of his mother. The move sparked an international controversy and raised concerns that regulations were being swept aside to benefit a pop star who has been generous to the country.

The star, who maintains she has followed the law, said that when she initiated the adoption of David, she was "saving a life."

"There are more than a million orphans in Malawi, and in my opinion the laws need to change because these children need to be rescued," the singer told David Letterman on CBS's "Late Show".

Malawian child welfare officials are expected to file a report on the suitability of Madonna and her husband, Guy Ritchie, as adoptive parents after two trips to their London residence in May and December.

In the days before her present trip, the grass was cut and hedges trimmed at the airport, the orphanages and care centres she has been involved with were painted, and security at the exclusive lodge where the star stayed last year was tightened.

Rumours that the celebrity was to adopt another child have been denied.

Madonna's New York-based publicist Liz Rosenberg said the star was going to Africa to continue her work with her Raising Malawi organisation.

"She is overseeing the building of a children's healthcare centre. She is absolutely not adopting another baby," Rosenberg said.

Yacinta Chapomba, a director of local aid group Consol Homes, which has been involved with Madonna's organisation in the building of a children's care centre, said an official opening ceremony was held at the centre yesterday. - Sapa-AP

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