Government is now free to proceed with recalling of ex diplomats holed in New York and Washington following a High Court ruling that discharges the temporary interim order they obtained against their repatriation.
The diplomats, eight in total, were granted an injunction on January 14 2021 stopping government from revoking their diplomatic status and forcing them to return home.
In his ruling on Friday Judge Simeon Mdeza said “In view of the forgoing, I proceed to dismiss the Claimant’s application for permission to commence judicial review proceedings and the application for stay. Accordingly, the interim order staying the implementation of the Defendant’s decision contained in his letter of 15th December 2021, that I made on 14th January 2021 is discharged.”
The ex-diplomats had also earlier moved the courts to institute a judicial review on government’s intention but that was pended waiting for Friday’s determination.
They were first given a deadline of December 2021 to leave the United States or face deportation. Sensing imminent extradition, they rushed to obtain the injunction that has since been vacated.
The ruling puts to rest an issue that has dragged on for months hence delaying deployment of new diplomats by the new administration.
Led by former Ambassador to the United States, Edward Sawerengera, the ex-diplomats have been denying to have their property shipped using a single Malawian freight company.
Government has however rubbished the assertions arguing that it is obliged to use a local shipping company to promote local firms among other reasons.
As we went to press there was no immediate comment from either the diplomats or government on the outcome.