BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—Malawi’s Tonse Alliance government under the leadership of President Lazarus Chakwera has condemned the conduct of its expelled diplomats in South for indulging in activities that have no value to the country’s foreign policy.
South Africa government has expelled Malawi, Rwanda, Guinea, Lesotho, Burundi diplomats for abusing diplomatic privileges.
As for Malawi diplomats, the South African government is accusing them of abusing tax-free privileges on alcohol through smuggling.
Reacting to the ‘shameful’ development, Information Minister Gospel Kazako, has condemned the conduct, saying what the diplomats have been doing has no room in the Tonse Alliance’s philosophy.
“As a Ministry of Information, we confirm the reports circulating of the expulsion of all Malawian diplomats in South Africa after the South African Government declared them persona non grata.
“The diplomats have been told to be out of South Africa by Monday, 14th June, 2021. The South African government is accusing them of abusing tax-free privileges on alcohol through smuggling,” said Kazako.
According to Kazako, despite that diplomats are allowed to import goods duty free in line with Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations (1961), the government of Malawi does not send its diplomats to drink beer or smuggle beer into the host country.
“The purpose of such privileges and immunities is not to benefit individuals but to ensure the efficient performance of the functions of diplomatic missions as representing States. It’s shameful and I am sure the government of South Africa is aware that Tonse Alliance cannot be part of that unscrupulous conduct.
“I think that is why they have acted swiftly knowing that there is new government in Malawi,” he said..
Article 36 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations states that the receiving State shall, in accordance with such laws and regulations as it may adopt, permitentry of and grant exemption from all customs duties, taxes, and related charges other than charges forstorage, cartage and similar services, on:
(a) Articles for the official use of the mission;
(b) Articles for the personal use of a diplomatic agent or members of his family forming part of his household, including articles intended for his establishment.
The expelled diplomats include High Commissioner Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary – H E Prof C N Kaponda;
Minister Counsellor – G Bamusi (Ms); Counsellor – I T Kumweda (Ms); First Secretary (Protocol) – D Chikafutwa (Ms); First Secretary – R C Mapundula (Ms); Second Secretary (Social Services) – R M Katuya (Ms); Defence Advisor – Col. B K Kamwendo; Consul-General – F K Nihorya Nkhoma; Vice-Consul (Admin) – M Betha; Vice-Consul (Labour) – V A Mtilatila (Ms); Vice-Consul (Tourism) – N E Nansongole; Vice-Consul (Tourism) – Duwa Mubaila Mutharika; Vice Consul – M J M Makumba; Vice-Consul – M Chizukuzuku; Vice Consul – M O Howahowa (Ms); Attaché (Consular) – G S Mainala and Attaché (Consular Health) – N G Fosiko