Ntaba says Mutharika welcomes Sata’s pardon

MalawiPresident Bingu wa Mutharika has welcomed the stand taken byZambiaPresident Michael Sata to forgive him following a diplomatic row that has soured relations between the two neighboring countries.

Mutharika’s spokesman, Hetherwick Ntaba, told Times of Zambia that the Malawian leader has welcomed the reconciliatory message from President Sata.

Sata said he has forgiven Mutharika following a meeting with formerMalawiPresident Bakili Muluzi inLusakarecently.

Sata and Muluzi: Discussed to let 'by-gones be by-gones '

Ntaba told the Zambian flagship daily that Mutharika was happy with President Sata’s stance and welcomed it.

“I personally have not seen the letter which President Sata gave Dr Muluzi to deliver to Dr Mutharika but all the same, the president feels the gesture was long over due,” Ntaba is quoted as saying.

Common values

Mutharika said Zambia and Malawi had enjoyed cordial relations even before both countries attained independence fromBritainin 1964.

“The two countries share common values which should be protected all the time,” Ntaba said.

Sata’s spokesman, George Chellah told VOA that there are indications that “anytime from now, President Sata can freely travel toMalawiand even President Bingu Wa Mutharika can as well come toZambia.”

Mutharika lived inZambiafor a long time when he was secretary-general of Comesa.

As an opposition leader, Sata was deported fromMalawiin 2006 by the Mutharika government after visiting former Malawian President Muluzi.

Since coming to power in elections last year, President Sata has demanded an apology from theMalawigovernment;Lilongwe has refused but withdrew his Prohibited Immigrant status.

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