President Lazarus Chakwera in consultation with vice-president Saulos Chilima is making a host of new diplomatic appointments for Malawi, including Embassy in United States, Washington DC, Belgium and South Africa.
The new ambassadors will be appointed as most of the country’s diplomats in the foreign mission have their contracts expired and some are on recall.
The diplomats who have finished their tours of duty include Edward Yakobe Sawerengera at the Embassy in United States, Washington DC, George Mkondiwa the Malawi High Commissioner in India, Ted Kalebe (Belgium) and Kena Mphonda (United Kingdom).
Their contracts expired in 2018 but continued serving in the Mission in their current positions following failure by government to fund their return home.
Other low-ranking diplomats have their contracts expired and others have recall letters.
They included Mike Mwanyula (Brussels), Patrick Mphepo (Dheli), some staff at Washington DC and most staff at London mission.
National Audit Office (NAO) audit has revealed that the country lost million of kwacha in public resources through fraudulent transactions in Malawi diplomatic missions abroad.
There has been widespread criticism over Malawi’s diplomatic service which has mainly been appointed based on political affiliation to parties in government. Many have advocated for career diplomats to represent Malawi if the country is to benefit from its representation abroad through trade, among other things.
Writting on social media, UK-based journalist Peter Makossah tipped the new administration to cleanse Malawi foreign embassies.
“The new government must, therefore, ensure to sanitize our embassies and take out all the rude, ignorant ‘viruses’ who found their way into the embassies only because they are politically connected and not qualified, unfit and incompetent.
“It’s high time Malawi is represented by patriotic, capable and competent people in our embassies and advance our national agenda and market our beautiful and naturally endowed country,” he wrote.
He argued that government must considered people for ambassadorial positions purely based on merit, professionalism and patriotism, citing some of the qualities as; national interest, credibility, patriotism, clarity, understanding, circumspection, impeccable communication skills, people-management skills, comprehensiveness, knowledgeable, commercial-tourism-and- trade awareness and decisiveness.
“We don’t want people who will be promoting MCP or UTM in London, Washington DC, Geneva, Brussels, Paris, Berlin, Johannesburg or Harare, we want people who will promote Malawi and all her untapped beauty and undiluted sovereignty. We need people who love Malawi.
“Through strategic diplomacy, private-public partnerships abroad through our embassies and high commissions, the Tonse Alliance philosophy, which is hinged on making a better Malawi so much better for all, can be advanced via international policies that will benefit the people of Malawi,” he wrote.`