Banda started school in Malawi (Nyasaland) in Tukombo in Nkhata Bay. He is believed to be the first cousin of Zambian politician and former President Rupiah Banda.
He was the chairman of The Nation Publications Limited, Malawi’s influential private media house that publishes the newspapers The Nation, Weekend Nation, Nation on Sunday and FUKO. He invited controversial journalist Ken Lipenga to be a founder and editor in chief of the newspaper, The Nation. He was imprisoned under the Banda regime for no charge and this was contested by Amnesty International. In communication no. 63/92 Krishna Achuthan appealed to the Commission on behalf of his father-in-law, Aleke Banda. He had been imprisoned for 12 years without legal charge or trial. When Mr. Achuthan met with two successive heads of intelligence of Malawi they confirmed that there no case pending against Mr. Banda, but that he was being held "at the pleasure of the head of state."
Politics began to absorb him at school in 1954. He ran the Southern Rhodesia African Students’ Association with such vigour that it was banned. At the age of 15 he was Que Que branch secretary of the Nyasaland African Congress. At 19 he was arrested as a political agitator on March 10, 1959, when a state of emergency was declared.
He was Minister of Finance in 1997, and Minister of Agriculture from 1997 to 2005. He was also Minister of Health. He was also President of the People's Progressive Movement.
Aleke retired from active politics due to his ailment and was hospitalized in South Africa.