What was the reasoning behind having a lean cabinet of 20 but have almost a similar number of advisers with almost similar perks?
If you believed the yarn that a cabinet of 20 would save enough tax money for drugs in Hoho, Chitela or Mkando, you have another thing coming. Peter was not done with his shopping-spree of characters to appease.
Look, he has just unveiled a whole village of pseudo-presidential advisors. Seriously if he wanted to have his beloved sister-in-law’s advice, did he have to put her on government pay-roll?
Callista still has this un-discharged scandal that she was getting an unbudgeted for seven-figure salary just to advice her husband on safe-motherhood issues. How could good old Peter make the same mistake his big brother made?
I know some of his apologists may rush to say, ‘but Ama also appointed her sister as PS.’ True she did, but are we going to use Joyce Banda as a yard stick? Did we not say it is time to do ‘business unusual’?
And, again, we have advisers whose ToRs we will need two weeks at MIM to understand. For example, what will my good friend Bright Malopa be doing at State House as Chief Strategist (Communications) when we have a whole Ministry of Information, complete with a Minister and Director of Information and a congested State House Press Office?
Who will be telling us what and when? Are we not risking having a cacophony of noises from State House and Capital Hill whose message will be lost in translation?
And just what will Symon Vuwa Kaunda be advising the President on ‘National Unity and Parliamentary Affairs’ when we have a whole Francis Kasaira as Leader of the House? The last time I checked Malawi was not experiencing tribal or regional disconnect that we needed someone to unite us. Besides, Vuwa is not even an MP!
I know, I know, Peter’s apologists would come back and say, ‘but Bakili, Bingu and Ama also had a horde of advisors’. But are we going to progress if we keep repeating all practices that were rotten in Atcheya, the Big Kahuna or Ama’s regimes? When will we have that transformational leader if we will be having more of the same?
Ministers are, by nature of their vows, presidential advisors; Peter does not need a motley crew of pretenders to feed him with lies in the guise of ‘advice’.
A cabinet of 20 was a winner for Peter; he lost it when he populated State House with characters who will have nothing to tell him other than who was dining with who last night.