Accessibility links

Breaking News

Controversy Surrounds Malawian High Commissioner To South Africa


Malawi President Bingu Wa Mutharika says he will not recall his newly appointed high commissioner to South Africa. The Malawi parliamentary appointments committee (PAC) and civil society have been calling for Agrina Mussa’s recall because of what they say is her cordial relationship with the government of Zimbabwe.

Sources say opponents of Mussa’s appointment also requested the South African government deny recognizing her as Malawi envoy and deport her. This week the saga took on a different twist when State House leaked to the press a letter purportedly written and signed by PAC Chairman Joseph Njobvuyalema stating that Mussa was only rejected for a post in the United Kingdom (UK), but that she could be posted anywhere else. Njobvuyalema has since disowned the letter saying his signature appearing on the letter was forged.

Patricia Kaliati is Malawi’s Minister of Information. From the capital Lilongwe, she spoke with VOA English to Africa reporter Peter Clottey, disagreeing with demands to recall the newly appointed high commissioner to South Africa.

“Why should we recall her, for what reason? And who are they to ask the South African government or to ask this government to recall her? …. and I even told them that they’ve got to shut up because whatever they are saying, was just nonsense,” she said.

Kaliati says the appointment committee seems not to be having its act together.

“If they are not even agreeing among themselves, how can we trust that they are competent to interview somebody who is going to go abroad…So its baseless for government to recall Agrina Mussa from South Africa,” she noted.

Kaliati sharply disagrees with the popular belief that supporters of President Mutharika are those calling for him to rescind his decision on the high commissioner to South Africa.

“Which are these people if they are not the opposition? Let me tell them that we are partners in development. That’s why we license them as a government. If they are not there to distract or misuse the democracy we are talking about. They are people who are supposed to work hand in hand with government…. And why should we change as I have said? …. So we don’t want to be made guns by some people who are jealous, frustrated and who are also power hungry so to say. Why can’t they organize their houses and work for the 2009 (presidential elections),” she said.

Let us know what you think of this report and other stories on our website. Send your views to AFRICA@VOANEWS.COM, and include your phone number. Or, call us here in Washington, DC at (202) 205-9942. After you hear the VOA identification, press 30 to leave a message. We want to hear what you have to say!