The British government did not reject Dr Hetherwick Ntaba to assume the role of Malawi High Commissioner to London as Maravi Post reported but “ internal politics” within the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) has forced Ntaba to withdraw from undertaking a diplomatic tour of duty.
Nyasa Times sought comments from British officials at Westminister on the reasons why Ntaba was rejected and the Foreign Office feigned ignorance on the matter.
The officials dismissed the story that Britain rejected Ntaba, calling it a “story without basis.”
Officials at British Foreign Office said UK had no problem with the Malawi High Commissioner designate, Ntaba and has been looking forward to work with him.
Malawi Foreign Affairs Minister Dr George Chaponda also dismissed claims that UK had rejected Ntaba, calling such assertions as “absolute nonsense.”
Ntaba said has withdrawn his appointment on personal grounds.
“I was appointed by the President and approved by parliament but some personal problems have emerged, quite unforseen which have made it so difficult for me to take up the High Commissioner role in the United Kingdom,” said Ntaba.
Public Appointments Committee (PAC) of Parliament chairperson Lingson Belekanyama and Chief Secretary to the Government George Mkondiwa confirmed Ntaba’s withdrawal.
Ntaba said his personal reasons “are not meant to be discussed in public.”
He stated: ”I know people may be interested to know the reasons but they are private.”
Some sources in DPP said Ntaba is repositioning himself for 2018 elections as he is nursing ambitions of becoming either the vice president or the president.
However, Ntaba said he remains “committed to serve the President and our ruling DPP so that it continue implementing development programs carried in our manifesto.”
On reports purporting that he was rejected by the UK due to links in the dispelling of former British Ambassador to Malawi Dyet Cockret, Ntaba refuted the story as unfounded.
“These are pure lies and it is very shameful for the media personnel who are spreading such lies. After the appointment was announced, the British government approved my name,” said Ntaba.
Ntaba was set to replace Bernard Sande who was recalled.
Menawhile, Ntaba is likely to retain his DPP vice president post after his replacement Ted Kalebe is heading to diplomatic post on Brussels.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :