The Commonwealth is confident that the diplomatic impasse between Malawi and Britain will end soon, secretary general Kamalesh Sharma said on Tuesday hours before flying to Rwanda.
Malawi expelled the British High Commissioner last April because of a leaked diplomatic cable that called President Bingu wa Mutharika “autocratic and intolerant of criticism.” London, in retaliation, expelled MalawiÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s diplomat and since January last year, UK has been withholding balance of payment support.
Sharma, who met leaders of different sectors, including the President, said the Commonwealth hopes for collaboration and friendship among all its member states.
“The diplomatic aspects of relationship of member States is something we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t comment on, but looking forward, we obviously would like to see a situation where the relationships between all these member states are that of collaboration and friendship and I am confident that is the position that will be reached,” he said.
On the economic front, Sharma said: “The economic situation of Malawi is a very difficult situation, I do realise, but itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s for the national government to see whatÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s the way in which its national interests can best be served… Fiscal consequences have to [be] weighed by national leadership and we hope that in the course of time,Ã‚Â a resolution will be found which will be beneficial.”
Sharma said during his four days he met representatives of the Malawi Human Rights Commission, opposition leader John Tembo, the Electoral Commission, Standard Bank Malawi managing director and other rights groups.
He said he briefed Mutharika about current developments in the Commonwealth.