Mzuzu, July 23, 2017: President Arthur Peter Mutharika has dismissed rumours that his government practises nepotism saying the inclusion of northerners in his cabinet and crucial positions in the civil service is an indication that he is not nepotistic.
“There are some politicians who are saying the President sidelines the north; this is a lie. They are saying I practice nepotisms and I favour people from the southern region,” he said.
The President was speaking Saturday at Katoto Roundabout during a whistle-stop tour on his way to the northern region.
“Let me tell you that in my cabinet, I have four ministers from the north.
“Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodal Gondwe, Minister of Transport and Public Works Jappie Mhango, Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Grace Obama Chiumia and Deputy Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Clement Mukumbwa,” the President said.
He also said the Attorney General Charles Mhango who is “one of the best lawyers in this country” is also from the region and that he chose him on merit.
“Let me tell you; I come from Thyolo and in my cabinet there is no single minister from Thyolo,” he said.
He added that at Malawi Defence Force most senior positions are held by northerners including the post of deputy army commander and legal adviser.
At Malawi Police Service, the president said, he has promoted Commissioner John Nyondo and others from the north.
He added that Chief Justice Nyirenda is from Nkhata Bay and that Director of the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) is also from the same district.
Mutharika added that in civil service, out of 225 positions from grade E to A that a president appoints, 83 are from the north.
He said while the population of the north is nine per cent of the country’s population, it has 33 per cent of the positions in the civil service.
“I’m saying this to show the people who spare time talking about nepotism and tribalism that they are wrong,” he said.
The President told the gathering that his government has a lot of development activities taking shape in the region.
He said soon government will open Mombela University as ground work has already started.
Mutharika then said finally money for new Mzuzu Airport has been found and his government will build an international standard airport in the city.
He also said his government is fulfilling its promises to rehabilitate Mzuzu-Nkhata Bay Road and city roads.
On his way from Lilongwe, President Mutharika stopped over at Champhira in Mzimba South where he addressed people who gathered there.
Speaking at Champhira, Inkosi ya Makosi M’mbelwa V thanked the President for taking time to visit the region.
He assured the President that chiefs from the northern region are in support of government as it has always been the trend for chiefs to support government of the day.
President Mutharika is in the northern region to undertake various development activities including Commissioning of Kalenge Water Project in Chitipa District.