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Why would US Ambassador Palmer conduct diplomacy on Social Media to embarrass the Malawi Government?

ATLANTA, December 16, 2015 (MaraviPost): Why would United States ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, like Mr Cochrane-Dyet of the United Kingdom feel embolden enough to take their diplomatic disagreements with the Malawi Government into the public arena instead of the private place where diplomacy should be conducted?


First Virginia Palmer felt comfortable enough to do this because she thought Malawians like they did Cochrane-Dyet would support her and humiliate their own leader President Peter Mutharika. Needless to say the US Ambassador miscalculated how strong Malawians feel about the issue on gays and if she has any doubts all she needs to do is read a sample of the comments on her Facebook page.


 After Bingu WA Mutharika expelled Cochrane-Dyet following a diplomatic cable made public  where he described Malawi’s President Bingu wa Mutharika as “becoming ever more autocratic and intolerant of criticism And claimed local civil society activists were afraid after a campaign of threatening phone calls and said the government was restricting the freedom of the media and minorities the United Kingdom rescinded an invitation to the Malawian government to a party at the high commission to celebrate the royal wedding..


Following pressure from donors, President Bingu Mutharika pardoned two gay men who had been jailed because of their relationship, which was illegal in Malawi.


Following Mr Cochrane-Dyet’s expulsion, British Foreign Secretary William Hague said: “It is a worrying sign that the Malawian government is expending its energies in this way, rather than focusing on the real and substantial challenges facing it, including the need for improved governance.”


He said acting High Commissioner of Malawi Flossie Gomile-Chidyaonga and her dependents had to leave the UK at “the earliest opportunity” and hinted that the UK’s aid to its former colony could be cut.


Once again using Malawi’s dependency on Aid as a club to intervene in our internal affairs.


“I have also asked my officials, working closely with their colleagues elsewhere in government, to review rapidly the full range of our wider relationship with Malawi.”

The EU office in Malawi also condemned the decision to expel Mr Cochrane-Dyet.


Déjà vu once again as Virginia Palmer took to social Media to write the following:

“As the U.S. Ambassador to Malawi I am closely following the December 7 arrest of two Malawian citizens who were charged with sodomy in violation of section 153 of the Penal Code and subjected to a medical examination without their consent.


 I remind the government of its stated policy not to arrest, detain, charge, or pursue people engaged in consensual same-sex activity. The rights of LGBTI persons are human rights. As a matter of human rights, public health, and public order, LGBTI persons should not be discriminated against in any way. I urge the government to make good on its international human rights obligations, drop the charges, and resolve this unfortunate incident as quickly as possible”.


How would The United States feel if the Malawi Ambassador in Washington DC took to social Media to criticize the Obama administration on one issue or another because we did not agree at a certain level on a policy? What If Our Ambassador threatened to withdraw our support on war on terror because we did not agree with their views on Gay Rights?


Ambassadors from Donor Countries should stop taking to Social Media to conduct diplomacy in Malawi. The purpose of Virginia Palmer taking to Social was to pit the Mutharika Government against Malawians.


Virginia Palmer has direct access to our Government and could have conducted diplomacy in private where it belongs.


US Ambassador Virginia Palmer should stop meddling in Malawi’s internal affairs.

Maravi Post Reporter
Maravi Post Reporter
Op-Ed Columnists, Opinion contributors and one submissions are posted under this Author. In our By-lines we still give Credit to the right Author. However we stand by all reports posted by Maravi Post Reporter.
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