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Dubai woman serves Malawi embassy for 10 years

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Mark Botomani

By Wezzie Gausi:

The Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (Pac) has faulted the government for retaining a United Arab Emirates citizen on the payroll of Malawi Embassy staff for 10 years.

According to the committee, the individual in question, a woman, has been holding the position of Consul General since 2013, and is from Dubai, one of the emirates.

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This is despite that Parliament once ruled against the move, claiming that there are many capable Malawians who can serve in the role.

Speaking when Ministry of Foreign Affairs officials appeared before committee members in Lilongwe on Monday, Pac Chairperson Mark Botoman said what is happening is an anomaly that should have been corrected a long time ago.

He wondered why Malawi is using foreign nationals at its foreign missions when the country has people that can ably do the job.

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“This issue came out in Parliament in 2018 and Parliament ruled that it was wrong for such a thing to be happening.

“We wonder how safe the country is when a foreign national is holding a decision-making position at our embassy. We, as a committee, are disappointed with what is happening,” Botoman said.

Secretary for Foreign Affairs Bernard Sande said the ministry is working on resolving the issue.

He said he believed that the issue will be sorted out as soon as possible.

“I must admit that there is a foreign national at the Dubai Embassy but, then, this is a person who has volunteered to work on pro bono basis.

“The arrangement has been like that ever since he joined the embassy and we are sure that everything will be sorted out,” Sande said.

The foreign national is known by the name Gilena Seleman, who is Brazilian by birth but is married to a man from Dubai.

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