The turn up is far lower than the first summit Malawi hosted in 1994 when over 10 heads of states attended.
President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Munthrika’s all-time ally, King Mswati III of Swaziland, Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, Burundi President Pierre Nakaurunziza, and Prime Minister Muhammad Delita are among the Heads States that have managed to come for the 30th Comesa Heads of State summit which ends today.
Neighbouring Zambia, in a diplomatic stand-off with Malawi, has sent its Vice President Guy Scot so has Kenya – east Africa’s biggest economy who have sent Vice President Stephen Kalonzo.
Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Kondwani Nankhumwa said government is satisfied with the five African leaders who are in the country.
“If you look at the figure of five out of 19, there is no need for us to worry because the Heads of State who have not come also have
equally busy schedules in their countries.
“We are not disappointed because that is good representation. Six countries have sent vice presidents, so it’s like 11 Heads of State
have come which to us is okay,” said Nankhumwa.
The low turn up by the Heads of State has also affected the first ladies meeting which was scheduled to place on Thursday and Friday. Only the Swazi king has managed to come with his wife. The meeting was postponed to Friday chaired by First Lady Calista Mutharika.