Vice President Saulos Chilima says diplomat must be capable people to link Malawi to the world since they are not sent to other countries for holiday or for solely welcoming government officials at airports.
Chilima made the remarks on Tuesday after meeting Minister of Foreign Affairs Eisenhower Mkaka and the ministry’s officials.
During the meeting, Mkaka highlighted a number of reform areas to be implemented ranging from the establishment of Career Diplomatic Service to restructuring some of the Malawi missions abroad.
Chilima welcomed the proposal to restructure the missions in a bid to broaden Malawi’s global representation and add value to the missions’ work.
He added that through the restructuring, it is important to understand the extent of the establishments and their role in each mission.
“Heads of Mission must be capable people to link our country to the global world. They must identify investment opportunities for the country and cultivate strategic allies to help us meet our needs on the international stage. They are not there for holiday or solely welcoming government officials at airports,” said Chilima.
Minister Mkaka also presented a reform proposal to establish a Career Diplomatic Service and a diplomatic school to train our personnel.
He said the establishment of a Career Diplomatic Service will stop the tendency of sending political sycophants to foreign missions and the subsequent recalls every time a new regime is ushered in.
The ministry also indicated it is reviewing the VIP access at Malawi international airports so that the abuse that has prevailed there is stopped.
On Career Diplomatic Service, Chilima assured the Minister that the administration of President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera will support the proposal especially with the fact that the legal framework on the proposal is being worked on already.
Chilima also recommended that an audit on diplomatic passports be carried out to review holders with the aim of reducing abuse.
He then assured the ministry that it will have a purpose built building as well as acquire VVIP vehicles for specific use such as state visits by Heads of State and other VVIPs.
“The speed, energy and political leadership being shown by the Minister is commendable. Going forward, we will have a roadmap to ensure that we are all on the right track towards implementation, said Chilima.