Malawi failing to pay diplomats


Malawi Government has not paid its diplomats in various countries across the world for several months.

A published report by the Investigator Magazine indicate that diplomats in United States, Canada and other countries have gone three months without Foreign Service Allowance.

“In Geneva staff received their last pay in April and the situation is also dire in Belgium, Germany, India, China, Japan and New York,” the publication reported.

It added that a landlord for one of Malawi’s missions in Africa threatened to evict the embassy over failure to pay rentals.

Social commentator Onjezani Kenani also posted on his Facebook Page a message from a diplomat who confirmed that they have gone months without pay.

“I am writing you from one of the embassies. We have gone for three months without pay. Life is hard. That’s all I can say,” the message read.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is yet to comment on the matter.

Since coming to power in 2020, President Lazarus Chakwera has filled embassies with political loyalists, friends and family members, including his daughter Violet Chakwera who was posted to the United Kingdom High Commission.

The Chakwera administration also stopped implementation of recommendations from a review exercise which proposed that embassies should have between six and eight diplomats per station.

In 2018, Malawi required a minimum of US$400,000 (about K500 million) per month to run an embassy.

Currently, the country is facing a foreign exchange crisis with Reserve Bank of Malawi saying in June that the forex in government’s reserves was not enough to last a month.