Malawi president Lazarus Chakwera and his vice Saulos Klaus Chilima

BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)—President Lazarus Chakwera has attracted a barrage of criticisms from different quarters for appointing a full cabinet infested with “spent forces, looters, privileged and spoilt sons of powerful families and a few unknown new additions.”

Chakwera released the full cabinet yesterday which saw Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Vice President Sidik Mia and his wife Abida making it into the 31-memebr cabinet, and a large percentage of people from the central region.

South Africa based Professor Danwood Chirwa, writing on his official facebook page, says Malawians must rise up and challenge the cabinet for it is uninspiring and does not reflect the will of Malawians who unanimously agreed to do away with politics of nepotism, regionalism and tribalism by ousting the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) from the country’s leadership mantle.

“Once again, Malawians are taken as fools. Newly elected President Chakwera has quickly transformed himself into a good salesman of words and rhetoric while serving the same stale dishes Malawians have fed on in the last 26 years. On Monday, he promised heaven, yesterday he unleashed hell.

“He’s ripped apart the speech he gave three days ago even before the ink in which it was written has dried. These are the actions of a man who doesn’t understand the moment and what needs to be done. He has reduced the electoral victory to the actions of a few individuals whose main interest is to profit from the state, not through the ordinary remuneration and other trappings ministerial positions offer, but though corruption and looting,” argues Chirwa.

Chirwa has questioned the restructuring of some ministries and complete removal of some key ministries.

The new cabinet has split the formerly known as Ministry of Information and Civic Education into just Ministry of Information and Ministry of Civic Education and Nation Unity and they are manned by a long time broadcaster, who is also the Managing Director of privately owned media house, Zodiak Broadcasting Station,  Honourable Gospel Kazako, and the most powerful civil society activist turned politician, Honourable Timothy Pagonachi Mtambo, respectively.

“The restructing of the government is irrational, with some ministries broken up for no good reason, or having no concrete mandate deserving separate existence, while other important portfolios have been removed or ignored completely.There’s no manifest bona fides rationale for the restructuring, which is linked to better delivery of the alliance manifesto. On the contrary it is evident that the structure is meant to accommodate the wide net of patronage networks.

“The composition of the cabinet reflects back room deals founded on pay for play, corruption and nepotism. Crooks and known looters have been appointed, sending a clear message that all talk about ending corruption and all gimmicks about shutting down the MRA and other institutions to nip looting was window dressing. We have seen this before, Malawians are not that stupid,” he said.

Commenting on the same, Onjezani Kenani says Chakwera has missed an opportunity to actualize the principles he touted during campaign period.

“It is clear that President Chakwera was voted not for the mere fact that he was not Peter Mutharika but because he was an embodiment for a new Malawi, a country that was to make a brave break with politics of nepotism and cronyism and tribalism, and embrace expert knowledge, merit, fair representation, transparency and accountability.

“His very first cabinet was supposed to be an unequivocal statement in actualizing the principles that we heard him articulate so powerfully during the campaign. Malawians are not asking for the impossible. All they want to see are people of the right qualifications combined with the right experience and a set of qualities for which they can be trusted to make appropriate judgments on behalf of millions of people, often under very complex circumstances,” Kenani says.

Kenani has also questioned the inclusion of the Ministry of Civic Education and National Unity given to renowned political activist Timothy Mtambo.

“In an increasingly competitive world, marked by specialization of tasks and requirements of efficient performance, it is not difficult to understand why this cabinet has left many unimpressed. Some of the people are very obvious misfits for the portfolios they have been given; nobody in their right mind would want to have their brain surgery conducted by a plumber and the ministry created for my brother Timothy Pagonachi Mtambo doesn’t make sense.

“Righty, President Chakwera is facing severe backlash for his timid and uninspiring cabinet and it is because Malawians cannot be fooled by rhetoric. The bar of public service has been set much higher than it has ever been for any president before. And it is a good thing for our country,” says Kenani.

Chakwera delayed to release the cabinet, a development that prompted people to speculate that there were misunderstandings among the leaders of the political parties that formed the Tonse Alliance.

However, Chakwera said the delay was because of the rigorous scrutiny of the nominees.

“I know you are anxious to hear an announcement of the new cabinet. In part, this is because I myself gave you the expectation to hear this announcement no later than my inauguration on July 6. But on second thought, Dr. Chilima and I decided to subject the list to another battery of scrutiny in order to be doubly sure that we are offering Malawians a well-balanced team of high-performing servant leaders who will bring forth, the fruits of our Tonse Philosophy,” he said.

NBS Bank Your Caring Bank