Malawi’s minister of foreign affairs George Chaponda says President Peter Mutharika had already planned to bar Thoko Banda from representing Lilongwe in Harare where he was expected to be an ambassador for the Southern African country, even if he did not pull out by himself.
Chaponda told the state-owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) television during Monday evening news cast that Mutharika appointed Banda for the post because he was not aware of the remarks Banda had made against the Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.
In 2006, Banda reportedly called Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe “an idiot”.
Banda told the BBC he would no longer use these words but said he has turned down the job of ambassador to Zimbabwe because he was opposed to dictatorship.
Commenting on the development, Chaponda said President Mutharika was going to drop Banda from going to Zimbabwe after Nyasa Times exposed the scathing attack he made against Zimbabwe’s president in 2006.
“Malawi has long been in good terms with Zimbabwe since time immemorial so Mutharika could not have allowed spoiling this relationship this time around because of someone,” said the Foreign Affairs Minister.
“ Therefore the President had already plans to drop Thoko Banda from diplomatic mission.,” he said.
Banda was initially earmarked to be Malawi’s envoy to Belgium and the European Union, but said he was not consulted before being switched to Harare.