There is an interesting debate going on with regards to merits and demerits of Malawi opening diplomatic relations with Israel and planting an embassy in Jerusalem.
As Nyasa Times, we feel that it is a misplaced debate--not do different from parents who can't clothe and feed their one child, but busy debating the possibilities of having more children.
To go or not to go to Israel is not the pressing question Malawi needs to be debating right now in the context of understanding issues of our diplomatic relations.
The debate we need, today, is on reforming our international relations in a way that reflects the needs and desires of Malawian people.
Over the years, Malawi has been establishing a number of diplomatic relations with several countries. We have stationed Offices of Embassies and High Commissioners in several countries across the world.
There has been debate, of course, with regards to how beneficial has these relations been to Malawi vis-à-vis the cost of keeping them afloat.
It's undeniable that Malawi, being a hinterland, has benefited a lot because of its cordial relations with other countries.
It is also imperative; of course, to underscore that some relations Malawi has with other countries haven't been beneficial apart from just draining the coffers of this country through running them.
There is no better time, as reforms are gaining momentum, than today to start doing an opportunity cost of the relations.
We must underscore that politicians have kept a bloated diplomatic relation system as one way of paying off political cronies through giving them jobs at the embassies.
This must stop.
This is why; we don't need the debate of going or not going to Israel. We need a debate of reviewing our diplomatic relations system with a goal of making it lean, efficient and responsive to the needs of Malawians.
Clear the rubble that is in the current embassies. Bring in career diplomats not the current crop of officials whose appointment mostly were based on nepotism and political patronage.