Zambia VP warns Malawi of much strained ties

Zambia’s vice president Guy Scott has warned of increasing strained diplomatic relations with Malawi, if the Bingu wa Mutharika administration will not apologise to Zambia Presisent Micheal Sata for declaring him prohibited immigrant four years ago.

Scott told reporters in Lilongwe that he has come to represent Zambia during the Comesa summit as Malawi has not yet formally lifted Sata’s prohibited immigrant status imposed on him in 2007.

“He could not have come because he risked being embarrassed,” Scott said.

Scott: Warns Malawi

He stressed that Zambia is demanding “an apology” and “explaination” from Mutharika administration for an “embarrassing deportation.”

The 74-year Sata, elected President last month after beating a Mutharika-ally Rupiah Banda, snubbed the Malawian leader’s invitation to attend the Comesa summit in protest against the Mutharika government decision to deport him.

“I am sure that the Malawian government has all the skills, the knowledge, the diplomacy that it needs in order to settle this matter,” he said.

“It’s a pity there are many things Zambians and Malawians should be discussing but this is a blockage in the way. So we will participate fully in Comesa (because) this is not a Malawian Comesa, it belongs to 19 countries,” the Zambian Veep said.

Malawi government spokesperson Patricia Kaliati maintained that Sata as President of Zambia “remains welcome in Malawi” and there was no reason for Malawi Government to apologise for.

Kaliati however said Malawi government has taken note of the remarks by Zambia’s second in command.

Malawi, meanwhile has strained diplomatic relations with Mozambique and Britain.

Scott underlined the need for good diplomatic relations amongst countries especially those sharing boundaries like Malawi and Zambia.

“I think we need in this part of the world good relations between neighbouring countries at the very minimum. To say look it happened under different circumstances that’s how we always treat members of the opposition, you can’t say that. I think it just needs some attention. Not with our diplomats here but with state house in Lusaka,” Scott said.

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