History Of Malawi

THIS MONTH IN THE HISTORY OF MALAWI: Dismissal of George Jaffu as Secretary to OPC and Appointment of John Ngwiri as a Replacement.

Cable sent from US Embassy in Blantyre to US Department of State, 1975 September 8, 14:05 (Monday ).

 OVER THE PAST SIX WEEKS WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CONFIRM THE DISMISSAL OF SIX SENIOR CIVIL SERVANTS AND RUMORS ARE WIDE- SPREAD THAT THE TOTAL IS AT LEAST DOUBLE THIS FIGURE. THE LATEST OFFICIAL AFFECTED IS *GEORGE JAFFU* , SECRETARY TO THE PRESIDENT, AND AS SUCH CHIEF OF THE CIVIL SERVICE, WHO IS REPORTEDLY DETAINED.

AMONG OTHERS ARE *PETER KALILOMBE* , PERMANENT SECRETARY OF MINISTRY OF HEALTH, *DR. NICHOLAS CHITIMBA,* CHIEF MEDICAL OFFICER, MINISTRY OF HEALTH, AND *CHIKUNGWE MSEKA,* MANAGER, MALAWI BOOK SERVICE.

THESE THREE BELIEVED TO HAVE BEEN SENT TO HOME VILLAGES IN WHAT MIGHT BE TERMED *”VILLAGE ARREST”.*

WIVES OF KALILOMBE AND CHITIMBA ALSO DISMISSED FROM HIGH POSITIONS AT QUEEN ELIZABETH HOSPITAL.

HKB_IN_OFFICE MSEKA, A COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY GRADUATE, CALLED ON AMBASSADOR AT RESIDENCE A FEW DAYS AFTER DISMISSAL (OF WHICH WE THEN UNAWARE) AND SAID KNEW NO REASON FOR ACTION BUT SPECULATED BITTERLY OLD CHARGE (1968) AGAINST HIM OF CORRESPONDENCE WITH CHIPEMBERE, WHICH HE SAID HAD BEEN DISPROVED, MADE HIM PERMANENTLY SUSPECT.

HE APPEALED TO GOVERNOR TEMBO FOR HELP AND SAID TEMBO PROMISED WOULD TRY. ALSO PLANNED TALK WITH JAFFU IF POSSIBLE.

AMBASSADOR SUSPECTS HE DELIBERATELY CAME TO RESIDENCE KNOWING SPECIAL BRANCH WOULD BE AWARE OF VISIT AND THIS MIGHT AMELIORATE ACTION AGAINST HIM.

MEANWHILE HE HAS DISAPPEARED FROM CIRCULATION. ONE STORY RE CAUSE JAFFU’S DIFFICULTY IS THAT HE TOLD PRESIDENT BANDA OF REPORTS NUMEROUS DISMISSALS AND DETENTIONS WERE CAUSING UNREST AND DISMAY IN CIVIL SERVICE.

*JOHN NGWIRI* HAS BEEN NAMED TO JAFFU’S POSITION. AMBASSADOR IN PRIVATE CONVERSATION WITH HIM DAY AFTER HIS APPOINTMENT FELT HE NOT AT ALL HAPPY TO LEAVE EXTERNAL AFFAIRS WHERE HE HAS BEEN FOR EIGHT YEARS BUT UNDERSTANDABLY AFRAID TO REFUSE PRESIDENT’S REQUEST.

ALTHOUGH AMBASSADOR MBAYA WHEN HERE FEW MONTHS AGO TOLD AMBASSADOR HE WAS ANXIOUS TO RETURN TO MALAWI, TIMING OF HIS REPLACEMENT (REFTEL) LEADS US TO SPECULATE THAT HE, TOO, COULD BE IN DIFFICULTY PARTICULARLY AS HE IS VERY CLOSE FRIEND OF KALILOMBE.

*COMMENT* :

SO FAR WE HAVE BEEN UNABLE TO DISCERN A COMMON TIE WITH REGARD TO MOTIVATION FOR DISMISSALS AND THERE MAY BE NONE.

KALILOMBE REPORTEDLY CLASHED WITH HIS NEW YOUNGER MINISTER;

CHITIMBA RUMORED TO HAVE RUN DEPARTMENT ARBITRARILY AND IN VIOLATION OF VARIOUS REGULATIONS;

JAFFU WAS OFTEN SEEN PUBLICLY INTOXICATED IN RECENT WEEKS;

MSEKA OFTEN VOICED CRITICAL REMARKS RE CENSORSHIP AND OTHER FRUSTRATING ASPECTS MALAWI LIFE WITH LACK OF DISCRETION FREQUENTLY NOTED BY EMBASSY OFFICERS.

NEVERTHELESS WE WOULD NOT BE SURPRISED TO FIND SUBJECT ACTIONS ESSENTIALLY RESULT BANDA’S INCREASING PARANOIA RE ANY SIGN OF OPPOSITION OR EVEN QUESTIONING.

WE SUSPECT THIS PARANOI MAY BE DELIBERATELY NURSED AND FED BY MCP SECRETARY GENERAL MUWALO SUPPORTED BY NEW CHIEF OF POLICE SPECIAL BRANCH, GWEDE, WHO IS HIS RELATIVE AND HAS FOR PAST TWO YEARS BEEN REPORTING TO MUWALO AS WELL AS TO CHIEF OF POLICE.

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 _Source: Wikileaks_

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