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Government elusive on Bently Namasasu ‘appointment’

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Government has opted for silence on the memorandum which is making rounds on social media indicating that President Peter Mutharika has appointed Lilongwe City South East former member of Parliament, Bently Namasasu, as Malawi’s Deputy Ambassador to Japan.

The Supreme Court forced Namasasu out of Parliament in March this year after ruling that the May 2014 elections in the constituency were irregularly conducted and that, as such, there was need for a re-run.

An unconfirmed correspondence reference number CS/S/001, titled ‘Diplomatic Appointment: Mr Bently Namasasu, allegedly from Chief Secretary to the Government Lloyd Muhara to the Secretary for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation designates Namasasu to Tokyo.

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“I write to advise that it has pleased His Excellency Prof. Arthur Peter Mutharika, President of the Republic of Malawi, to appoint Mr Bently Namasasu as Deputy Ambassador of the Republic of Malawi to Japan,” the correspondence reads.

The circulating correspondence has gone further, purportedly requesting the Secretary for Foreign Affairs to draw the contract letter for Namasasu and facilitate his posting to Japan.

When we contacted Muhara for his comment on the letter, he referred us to government spokesperson Nicholas Dausi.

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“I don’t speak on behalf of government. Talk to government spokesperson, Nicholas Dausi,” Muhara said.

But Dausi said he could not comment on a letter making rounds on social media.

“I have no comment on that,” Dausi said.

Namasasu said he was driving and did not know when he would arrive at his destination to attend to a phone call.

Namasasu lost to Democratic Progressive Party candidate for Lilongwe City South East Constituency October 17 by-elections, Reuben Ngweya, in party primaries and planned to contest as an independent candidate.

But the party is said to have advised Namasasu not to contest as that would split votes meant for the party in the area.

Social commentator and human rights defender, Billy Mayaya, said the problem in the country is that diplomatic missions are abused for political gain.

“Government uses diplomatic missions for political appeasement,” Mayaya said.

He said the country needs career diplomats who will be able to add value to the country after their tours of duty, and “not those people who just go there as if they are on a vacation.”

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