Malawi lifts travel ban on Zambia's Sata

2011-09-29 13:09

Lilongwe - Malawi said on Thursday it had lifted an entry ban on Zambia's new president, Michael Sata, trying to head off a diplomatic spat before hosting a major regional conference next month.

President Bingu wa Mutharika's government arrested Sata in 2007 when the then opposition politician entered Malawi to visit a former president. Sata was bundled into a car, driven several hundred kilometres, dumped at the border and told he could never come back.

Presidential spokesperson Hetherwick Ntaba said Sata could no longer be treated as a "prohibited immigrant" now that he was a head of state.

"Under such circumstances, the fear of immigration embarrassment in Malawi for President Sata cannot arise in international diplomacy," Ntaba said in a statement.

Prior to the announcement, Zambian media had said that Sata would not go to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa summit in Malawi because of the way he was treated by Mutharika's government.

Mutharika has also strained ties with major aid donor Britain by expelling its ambassador over a leaked diplomatic cable in which the envoy called the Malawian leader autocratic.

He has faced international criticism and further losses of aid for his impoverished state after his forces killed 20 people in an anti-government rally in July.

Opposition leader Sata won an election early this month in a peaceful transfer of power in Zambia, a rarity in Africa, where elections are often rigged or results ignored, with many leaders trying to subvert the democratic process through force.

Sata sued the Malawian authorities and the case is still in court. Malawi has never disclosed the reasons why it deported Sata.

Read more on:    bingu wa mutharika  |  michael sata  |  malawi  |  zambia  |  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. 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
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

Trying to keep time for your social commitments and friendships as well as taking care of work and health obligations can be more

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.