Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation George Chaponda has made changes to the diplomatic posts redeploying three Malawi envoys after announcing 82 diplomats are being recalled from its foreign missions.
Nyasa Times has learnt that those being redeployed include Necton Mhura who is Malawi ambassador in United States at Washington DC embassy. He is moving to New York to take over the post of Brian Bowler as Malawi envoy to United Nations.
Bowler is being moved to Brazil where Edward Sawerengela is serving.
Sawelengera is being redeployed to Washington DC after a request by his wife Maggie Asalele Mbilizi to find a job there.
Minister Chaponda recently announced reforms in his ministry, downsizing and rationalising diplomatic and local staff in Malawi’s missions abroad.
Some diplomats who were recalled from New York office have not been reporting for work since August 2015. However, government is still paying the diplomats their living allowances, including house rentals.
But Chaponda said government has saved K3.1 billion on salaries and benefits alone in 2015/16 and K2.2 billion in rentals for houses of diplomats and school fees for their children.
Government has since reduced the number of diplomats in established positions from 234 to 152 this year. The number is expected to reach 126 by next year. On the other hand, the number of local staff in the foreign mission has gone down from 217 to 184.
The minister said where, for example, there is a press attaché and a tourism attaché, one officer will go and his/her assignments will be taken over by the other.
In recent years, the government has closed down embassies in Canada, Namibia, France and Kenya. However, the mission in Nairobi was reopened in 2014.
Malawi has 19 foreign missions, with eight in Africa, four in Europe, a couple in Asia, United States of America (USA) in addition to the United Nations mission in New York.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :