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4 diplomats yet to report for duties

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The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Wednesday said four people who were appointed to diplomatic missions have failed to report for their duties as the ministry is facing financial challenges.

Secretary for Foreign Affairs Bernard Sande told the Public Appointments Committee (Pac) of Parliament that the ministry exhausted its budget and that it was still sourcing funds to enable the emissaries to travel to their respective duty stations.

Sande could not shed light on how much was needed to facilitate the travel logistics of the remaining diplomats.

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The stranded diplomats are Younos Abdul Karim destined for Kuwait, Andrew Kumwenda going to Tanzania, Dr Naomi Mgwira going to Brussels Belgium and Catherine Kunje going to Egypt.

“We are doing our best to let them go as soon as possible,” Sande said.

Sande and other officials from the ministry appeared before the committee to brief it on structure of Malawi foreign missions and responsibilities and deliverables for heads of missions.

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Ntcheu West legislator Simion Salambula said it was disheartening to note that the country was failing to send officers to Tanzania at a time the country was yet to resolve the lake dispute with that country.

“We can’t afford to have no representative in Tanzania when there is a lake dispute,” he said.

In June last year, Pac approved 19 names to head diplomatic missions.

Apart from heads of mission, the ministry also appointed people to serve as support staff.

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