BLANTYRE--Malawian new President Joyce Banda on Wednesday said her government was "committed to ensure all envoys accredited to Malawi operate freely without any obstruction" after she named a technocrat and former diplomat, Bernard Sande, and John Tembo Jnr, a son of veteran politician JZU, as Malawi's new high commissoner and deputy to London.
Banda told a presser at her Mudi residence in Blantyre that the move followed British announcement on Tuesday that it was resuming full diplomatic ties with the southern African nation, a year after it expelled British ambassador Fergus Cochrane-Dyet for criticising the late president Bingu wa Mutharika.
Banda said:"I assure the British Prime minister of my commitment to improving Malawi's economic and governance situation and to assure him that the British high commissioner to Malawi, and indeed all envoys accredited to Malawi will operate freely without obstruction."
The new President assumed power two days after Mutharika died of cardiac arrest on April 5.
She has hired Bernard Sande, a former principal secretary in various ministries and diplomat, as the new high commissioner to London.
British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William told Hague told lawmakers that Banda was prioritising the restoration of relations with Malawi's former colonial power since the death of Mutharika.
"I have now decided that the time is right to appoint a new high commissioner to Malawi. The Prime Minister has written to the president to convey this decision to her," Hague said.
He said the new ambassador, once appointed, would "monitor developments in Malawi closely".
The cable released by Wiki Leaks showed Cochrane-Dyet saying Mutharika was "becoming ever more autocratic and intolerant of criticism".
Malawi expelled the ambassador in April last year and London retaliated by ejecting Malawi's envoy, Flossie Gomile Chidyaonga, from Britain.
London then suspended budgetary aid to Malawi because of its failure to tackle Britain's "serious concerns over economic management, governance and human rights."
Malawi had said in October that Cochrane-Dyet would be allowed to return, but a spokeswoman for Britain's Foreign Office said he had now been posted to Afghanistan.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment