Diplomats who have been refusing to return to Malawi after being recalled have had their diplomatic status revoked.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Eisenhower Mkaka has confirmed that the government has made the decision after the diplomats failed to return home by 31 December, 2021, a deadline which the ministry had set.
Reports indicate that eight diplomats based in New York and Washington have been affected by the Government’s decision.
“We have revoked their diplomatic status and we have also informed the US government that they are not there as Malawian diplomats,” ministry of foreign affairs spokeswoman Rejoice Shumba told AFP.
Last year, Government recalled the diplomats following appointment of 18 new envoys by President Lazarus Chakwera.
However, a stand-off emerged after diplomats recalled from the United States refused to leave over challenges in shipping property to Malawi.
Government wanted the diplomats to leave the country before the process of shipping their personal effects to Malawi had been finalized.
The diplomats later obtained an injunction stopping government from moving them before their personal effects are shipped.
One of the recalled ambassador, Edward Sawerengera who is Malawi Ambassador to Washington in the United States, said they wanted their personal goods be placed in containers and then loaded directly on to a ship, and not first stored in a warehouse.
However, the High Court ruled in favour of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and vacated the injunction.
“We set out to bring back 70 diplomats from our missions, but we only managed to bring back about 50 because the others were resisting. But when their case was dismissed, we resumed our mission to bring them back,” said Ministry of Foreign Affairs Spokesperson Rejoice Shumba.