BLANTYRE--US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will visit Malawi next Sunday, The Maravi Post can exclusively reveal.
No official from the US embassy in Lilongwe and the Malawi Ministry of Foreign Affairs were available to comment but The Maravi Post has talked to a top government official who confirmed all is set for the visit of the Obama administration's top diplomat.
"Mrs. Clinton will be in Malawi next Sunday," said the official. "This is a sign of the trust the Obama administration has in Malawi under President Joyce Banda."
Banda's predecessor, the late Pres Bingu wa Mutharika, had a stormy relationship with the West, including the US and Great Britain. While a top British envoy was expelled from Malawi in April 2011 for describing Mutharika as "increasingly becoming autocratic and intolerance of criticism", Washington suspended a US $350.7m energy deal following the slaying of 20 unarmed protestors during last year's July 20 unprecedented anti-government demonstrations.
But following her ascendancy to power following the sudden death from cardiac arrest of the 78-year-old economist-turned-politician on April 5, Pres Banda went all-out to mend the diplomatic fences. Her charm offensive produced immediate results with London restoring diplomatic relations with Malawi and Washington unfreezing the energy booty.
Clinton's visit to Malawi will be the second high-profile visit from any US administration official following former Vice President Dan Quayle's visit in 1991.
Unofficial reports say Clinton is also scheduled to visit Nigeria and the Ivory Coast.
---©2012 The Maravi Post. Reproduction authorised, with usual acknowledgment.