Malawi’s ambassador designate to Zimbabwe has asked ministry of foreign affairs to consider relocating him to another diplomatic mission apart from Harare after reports have gone viral that he once described President Robert Mugabe as an idiot and a horrible man in 2006 while he was an asylum seeker in Germany.
In a letter sent to foreign affairs ministry and seen by Nyasa Times, Banda said if he is posted to Zimbabwe, he fears the ties between Lilongwe and Harare will be sour because of his bad –mouthing to Mugabe.
Banda, son of veteran Malawi politician Aleke Banda, in 2006 described Mugabe – the man he will present his credentials to – as an “idiot” in an interview with a Germany publication The Foreigner.
But after Nyasa Times had done the digging to get that interview, Banda has now denied making such remarks, saying “words were put” into his mouth.
Banda insulted Mugabe ostensibly to strengthen his asylum bid in Germany. He had left Malawi following run-ins with former President Bakili Muluzi and his successor Dr Bingu wa Mutharika.
He told Zimbabwe’s The Sunday Mail that the stories circulating about his 2006 interview are “certainly unfair and very baseless”.
Banda claimed “ the article being bandied around is not a story that I sanctioned.”
He said: “Those people (the magazine) certainly had their own agenda. I think that is the most important point from all this. The article had a lot of problems, including having words put into my mouth. Beyond that, I think everything should be left to the (Malawi) Foreign Affairs Ministry.”
Banda said there is definitely no reason for panic because “that article is not based on anything credible. Beyond that, I don’t see any problem regarding the matter.”
He could not comment on his posting to Zimbabwe but stressed that “the people should be rest assured (that) there is no problem at all.”
In the interview which The Foreignor recorded and Banda at no point rebutted it until now, Banda said Zimbabwe has “an Idiot” in President Mugabe.
“This guy Robert Mugabe; I hope that he lives a very long time, so that one day he can go before an international tribunal. He is a horrible man.
“The only difference between Mugabe and some of the other leaders is that Mugabe hurts not only his own people but also foreigners. That is why they hate him so much in the West.”
Analysts in Malawi said although made back in 2006, Banda’s unguarded utterances could undermine his working relationship with the Zimbabwean government.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :