NAIROBI – President Uhuru Kenyatta has urged the incoming Malawian leader to revamp relations between the two states.
In his congratulatory message to President Lazarus Chakwera on this election following the Tuesday presidential election and his wearing-in, Uhuru said the historical ties between the two states offer an opportunity to reignite their relations.
Uhuru said Kenya and Malawi enjoy “warm and historical ties dating back to pre-independence times”, which are facilitated by shared aspirations for growth and development.
He added that the ties were close due to a strong Pan-Africanist spirit traced back to the work done by the founding fathers of two republics, the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta and the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda.
“Excellency, it is this strong bond of friendship, historical bilateral ties and a shared vision for progress that should form the bedrock of the renewed Kenya-Malawi relations during your tenure in office,” Uhuru said.
“The mandate our Malawi brothers and sisters have given you is a clear expression of the confidence they have in your able leadership. It is also a confirmation of their desire for progressive leadership that will unite and propel their country to greater heights of development,” Uhuru further noted.
He said he looks forward to working with him for the progress of the two states and Africa.
Malawi and Kenya have had diplomatic relations since 1964 but ties have not been as active, resulting Malawi closing its High Commission in Nairobi in 2005.
President Mwai Kibaki visited Malawi in January 2013 for a state visit and held talks with his then counterpart Joyce Banda. They agreed to deepen trade and diplomatic ties.
In this regard, the two states have resolved to establish resident diplomatic missions in Lilongwe and Nairobi as a matter of priority as a commitment to strengthening and consolidating bilateral relations.
While Malawi reopened in March 2013, Kenya still doesn’t have a mission in Lilongwe and its High Commission in Zambia is accredited to Malawi.
In 1999, the two states signed an agreement on Economic and technical cooperation, which also established the Joint Commission. They later established a Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation in 2002
Kenya and Malawi have enhanced their trade within Comesa, to which they are members.
Kenya’s main exports to Malawi include edible oils, margarines, detergents, baking powder, kitchen and table wares, spices, blankets, beauty products, toiletries, irrigation pumps, tyres, and textiles and crafts.
Malawi’s main exports to Kenya include maize seeds, electrical conductors, tobacco, and precious stones.
A number of Kenyan firms have established in Malawi in the transport, manufacturing, farming, hospitality, food processing, and information technology sectors
On his part, ODM leader Raila Odinga congratulated the people of Malawi on the successful and peaceful presidential election Chakwera on his impressive victory.
“I commend the outgoing President Peter Mutharika for creating the environment for a peaceful and orderly transfer of power,” Raila tweeted on Sunday.
“The election was followed keenly beyond Malawi and is a symbol of hope for those who support democracy in Africa and around the world,” he said.