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Lesson learnt! Malawi leader Chakwera to consult nominees for cabinet before appointment

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—In an apparent reference to the Mordecai Msisha’s refusal to take up ministerial position, the newly elected president of the Republic of Malawi, Lazarus Chakwera, has indicated that all nominees for cabinet will be consulted before appointment.

Chakwera has disclosed this in a short communiqué to the general public today Wednesday.

“I am happy to report that Dr. Chilima and I have made great progress in the formulation of Cabinet. As per procedure, nominees for cabinet will be consulted before appointment, following which they will still be at liberty to reconsider accepting the extent or form of their involvement in the event that certain exigencies of public office demand a change thereof, with assurance of no remonstration or recrimination on my part. I will be announcing the rest of the Cabinet members very soon,” says Chakwera.

“Additionally, on this second day, my Administration presented a budget to The People, whose representatives have duly passed it. This budget covers the necessary functions of government for the next four months, during which time we will work on a full budget,” he adds.

Chakwera’s sentiments on cabinet appointments come barely a day after lawyer Mordecai Msisha, who represented the party in the election case, turned down a ministerial offer.

Msiska’s snub ignited debate on how Malawian presidents appoint cabinet ministers considering that just recently Chimunthu Banda also turned down a ministerial offer from the former president Peter Mutharika, a clear indication that presidents in Malawi take things for granted.

Malawi’s renown lawyer Mordecai Msiska turned down ministerial offer

Commenting on the matter, South Africa based Malawian law expert Danwood Chirwa said “the Modecai Msisha SC debacle is not just a silly mistake; it strikes at the core of the problem in Malawian politics, especially in the understanding of the powers of the presidency.”

Chirwa says due procedure must be followed when making critical appointments in government departments.

“Critical appointments like this ought to be made following a credible vetting process that involves the submission and careful consideration of CVs, security checks, credit checks, criminal record checks, integrity checks, and evaluation of competence and vision.

“Candidates ought also to be given an opportunity to interrogate the appointing authority on some issues. I personally would be interested in knowing the vision of the appointing authority, their working methods and expectations, an assurance about independence and debate within cabinet, etc,” says Chirwa.

Chakwera has so far made key appointments and the list is as follows:

Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms – Dr Saulos Chilima
Minister of Finance – Felix Mlusu
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs – Modecai Msisha (to be replaced)
Attorney General – Chikosa Silungwe
Minister of Homeland Security – Richard Chimwendo Banda
Chief Secretary to Government – Zangazanga Chikhosi
Deputy Chief Secretary to Government – Janet Banda.
Chief of Staff and State Residences – Prince Kapondamgaga

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