Diplomats now have 'limited access' to Malawian president

2016-02-12 14:00
Newly elected Malawian president Peter Mutharika signs the oath book after he was sworn in, at the High Court in Blantyre, Malawi. (Thoko Chikondi, AP)

Newly elected Malawian president Peter Mutharika signs the oath book after he was sworn in, at the High Court in Blantyre, Malawi. (Thoko Chikondi, AP)

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Lilongwe – Following an alleged plot to overthrow Malawian President Peter Mutharika, all diplomats and heads of international organisations have been restricted from meeting with him.

The southern African country's ministry of foreign affairs said appointments to meet Mutharika could "only be granted" when diplomats presented their letters of credence or when they were taking leave after the end of their tour of duty, Nyasa Times reported. 

Diplomats who had been designated as special envoys by their heads of state would also be granted appointments with Mutharika.

"The Ministry has noted that some Diplomatic Missions and International Organisations directly contact government ministries or departments to get or pass on information [to the president], including requests for appointment with government officials," the ministry wrote in a correspondence to the diplomatic community under Note No. 05/2016.

All correspondence – including greeting cards and goodwill messages – had to be submitted to the ministry of foreign affairs, which would then send them to the president, the ministry said.

This comes after intelligence agencies unearthed an alleged plot by the opposition Malawi Congress Party’s (MCP) leader, Lazarus Chakwera, to overthrow Mutharika.

The alleged plot was said to have had the backing of the US government.

In the original findings, the US Ambassador to Malawi, Virginia Palmer, wass reportedly said to have even hosted meetings for the group at her home.

However, Edward J Monster, the Public Affairs Officer at the US Embassy, denied the allegations saying: "...The US and Malawi enjoy a strong and productive relationship and we intend to continue working closely together for the benefit of the Malawian people."

Read more on:    peter mutharika  |  malawi  |  southern africa

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