Malawi has expelled Britain’s top diplomat to the country after a leaked cable described the ever more autocratic president as, well, “ever more autocratic and intolerant of criticism”.
Rather undermining his own rejection of this criticism President Bingu wa Mutharika responded by throwing out the British High Commissioner Fergus Cochrane-Dyet last week.
In a tit-for-tat move Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (the equivalent of the State Department) expelled Malawi’s Acting High Commissioner from her London residence.
Britain is Malawi’s single largest foreign donor contributing something like $120 million last year and a total of $1.7 billion over the last 15 years.
The country is one of the world’s poorest and its impoverished population desperately needs the support of wealthier foreign nations. This is a case of biting the hand that, quite literally, feeds.