Muluzi brokers peace between Mutharika, Sata

Malawi’s retired president Bakili Muluzi on Friday successfully resolved the diplomatic standoff between President Bingu wa Mutharika and Zambian leader Micheal Sata arising from a 2007 deportation of Zambia’s President when he was opposition leader then.

Muluzi, who arrived in Zambia on Wednesday for a two-day visit, had an audience with Zambian President on Friday at State House in Lusaka.

During the talks, it emerged that Muluzi raised the issues of sour diplomatic relations between Lilongwe and Lusaka.

Zambia President Sata and Malawi ex-president Muluzi after talks

“I talked to President Sata about the issue and persuaded him to bury the past,” Muluzi said in a telephone interview with Nyasa Times from Lusaka after meeting Sata.

Burry the hatchet

He said President Sata agreed to “forget the past” and “has forgiven President Mutharika.”

Muluzi said President Sata requested him to convey to his successor that “he has forgiven what happened in 2007” and finally they have to bury the hatchet.

The former president, who returns back to Malawi on Friday, says he will communicate with President Mutharika on the development.

“I believe that Malawi and Zambia have long relationship which needs to be smooth for the benefit of the people of two neibhouring countries,” said Muluzi who ruled Malawi from 1994 to 2004.

He also said Sata is prepared to make a state visit to Malawi.

Muluzi said Sata briefed him that he is also engaging Zambia’s former president Kenneth Kaunda to unblock the tense diplomatic standoff with some nations and has already been to Angola, China and Nigeria.

And a report monitored on Zambia’s  QFM News says President Sata told journalists that there is need for him and his Malawian counterpart to put their differences aside in the interest of Zambia and Malawi.

Sata said he has since sent a message to President Mutharika through Muluzi indicating his willingness to reconcile their differences.

Homage

During his visit, Muluzi also visited the families of the late presidents, Frederick Chiluba and Levy Mwanawasa and later laid wreaths at the burial sites of the fallen leaders.

Mwanawasa died in August 2008 after suffering a stroke while Chiluba died this year in June at his residence after a prolonged struggle with a heart condition.

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