Malawi’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has clarified on reports that some diplomats on recall are resisting to return to Malawi using all sorts of excuses, saying “financial constraints” are the main reason why most Malawian diplomats on recall have not yet returned to Malawi.
It was reported that some diplomats, particularly outgoing Malawi High Commissioner Bernard Sande in London, United Kingdom, was using his claim of financial refunds as a condition for his return.
Nyasa Times now understands that government has refunded Sande and he is now heading back home to be replaced by Kenny Kingdom Mphonda.
The Ministry said Sande’s pressure for his return eased when his replacement Dr Hetherwick Ntaba withdrew his posting to London.
“It must be added that Mr. Sande is still at post with full knowledge and blessing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Lilongwe.
“As regards [High Commissioner] Sande’s refunds, the issue has been blown out of proportion. In the first instance, outstanding claims are not unique to him, as there are a number of returning diplomats who have unpaid claims.
“Secondly, the Ministry has always treated the claims as tangential to the return to Malawi of the diplomats concerned. At the same time, and so far as the Ministry is concerned, the High Commissioner has never used his outstanding claim as a condition for his return to Malawi. “
The ministry said the K15 million claim which was reported is “by far exaggerated. “
The ministry stressed that “financial constraints are the main reason why most Malawian diplomats on recall have not yet returned to Malawi.”
“Government is funding these recalls in phases, depending on the availability of funds at any one time,” the statement added.
In the case of returning Ambassadors and High Commissioners, priority has so far been accorded to those at Missions whose replacements are ready to take up their appointments, the Ministry added.
According the statement, all diplomats on recall will return to Malawi at an appropriate time.
“The Ministry is in full control of the exercise. Measures are in place for diplomats not to defy any recall once funds for re-location to Malawi are available,” reads the statement.
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