Political analysts have said President Peter Mutharika is not being snubbed by Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) member States as Malawi’s new head of State.
This comes amid worries expressed by some quarters that the President has not been welcomed as the new Sadc chair because member States have shunned two significant national events since Mutharika’s ascendancy to the country’s presidential office.
First, it was during his inauguration at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre on June 3 where only Botswana president Ian Khama and Tanzanian vice-president Mohammed Bilal were the only two high-ranking delegates.
Again, people raised eyebrows that during the 50th Anniversary Independence Celebrations, it was only Zimbawe President Robert Mugabe and Tanzania’s vice-president who turned up.
However, Sam Mpasu, a former diplomat, said in an interview the fact that it is only one head of State and one vice-president who came for Mutharika’s inauguration, could be a result of late announcement of the presidential results.
He said Malawi had controversial election results that were not announced on time until very late.
Concurring with Mpasu, political scientist Michael Jana said he would not jump into concluding that African heads of State are shunning Mutharika and that his administration has foreign policy issues to sort out.
He said: “If we say Mugabe shunned Mutharika’s inauguration ceremony, has he changed his policy now that he came for Malawi’s independence ceremony?”