Malawi diplomat who called Mugabe 'idiot' refuses Zim post

2014-11-03 11:05
Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. (AP)

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe. (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Blantyre - A Malawian diplomat who once reportedly described Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe as an "idiot" said Monday he had turned down a posting as his country's top envoy to Harare.

"I am sure there are other Malawians more amenable to serving at that particular post at this particular time," Thoko Banda said in a statement seen by AFP.

Banda's scathing insult to neighbouring Zimbabwe's long-serving head of state was recalled by social media last week, shortly after he was named as Malawi's high commissioner (ambassador) to Zimbabwe.

Banda was widely quoted as telling Germany's The Foreigner magazine in 2006 that "Zimbabwe has an idiot - I am sorry, I know you are recording - but they have an idiot for president.

"This guy Robert Mugabe, I hope that he lives a long time, so that one day he can go before an international tribunal. He is a horrible man."

Banda said in his statement on Monday that he had an "extensive history of effective human rights advocacy and I would never sell out my human rights commitments just for a position".

Banda, who has served previously as a diplomat in Japan and Germany, said he was not consulted on his Harare appointment by President Peter Mutharika and was "surprised" to learn of it through the media.

Malawi's Foreign Affairs Minister George Chaponda refused to comment, telling AFP: "Ask Mr Banda himself."

Malawi and Zimbabwe, both members of the Southern African Development Community, have enjoyed cordial diplomatic relations in the past.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  malawi  |  southern africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.