Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera said he has relayed a message to South African President, Cyril Ramaphosa, condemning the despicable behaviour’ of Malawian diplomats in South Africa were expelled for abusing diplomatic privileges.

In a special address Sunday evening, three days after the South African government declared Malawi diplomats persona non grata and ordered them to leave within 72 hours for abusing duty-free privileges on alcohol, Chakwera described the behaviour of those diplomats as ‘unfortunate, despicable and unprofessional.’

‘I assured the president of the Republic of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa, that the conduct of these individuals does not represent the values of my administration and the Malawian people, nor does it reflect the cordial and warm bilateral relations between our two countries,’ said the Malawi leader.

‘In the meantime, I’m pleased to report that even before this unfortunate incident, all the bad apples in the foreign missions had already been served with letters of recall to come back home,’ Chakwera said, adding that his administration has already identified professionals to replace the ‘bad apples.’

He expressed hope that those chosen to be deployed as Malawians’ representatives around the world will make the country proud by the integrity of their conduct.

Chakwera said the selection process that was followed to identify the new diplomats was ‘thorough, legal, meticulous and objective,’ prioritising the national interests.

‘This is a departure from past practice of filling out embassies with cronies sent without due process or due diligence,’ he said.

‘I assure you all that the stain that has been brought on our country by these undeserving and unprofessional individuals will soon be a thing of the past,’ Chakwera said.

The president has ordered that the expelled diplomats be banned from the country’s foreign service.

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