Chakwera under fire after siblings make it to cabinet

10Jul 2020
The Guardian
Chakwera under fire after siblings make it to cabinet

​​​​​​​MALAWI's new President Lazarus Chakwera has been criticised for including family members and siblings in his cabinet.

​​​​​​​MALAWI's new President Lazarus Chakwera.

The president's former running mate in the 2019 elections, Sidik Mia, has been appointed minister for Transport and his wife Abida Mia is deputy minister for Lands.

Kenny Kandodo is the new Labour minister and his sister Khumbize Kandodo is Health minister.

Businessman Gospel Kazako has been appointed Information minister and his sister-in-law Agnes Nkusa Nkhoma is the deputy Agriculture minister.

Earlier, President Chakwera's first appointee to the justice ministry, lawyer Modercai Msiska, refused to take up the position saying it would look like a reward for representing him in court. It related to the case that nullified ex-President Peter Mutharika's election win earlier this last year.

Some have also pointed out that Chakwera had attacked Mutharika about nepotism in the past and for filling his cabinet with people from his region.

Critics take note that 70 per cent of the president's new line-up is from the central region, his political stronghold.

  1. his inauguration on Monday, Chakwera pledged several measures to develop the country’s economy, which he said has endured 26 years of poor administration while his Malawi Congress Party (MCP) was in the opposition.

"It is no secret that we have had one administration after another shifting its post to the next election, promising prosperity but delivering poverty; promising nationalism but delivering division; promising political tolerance but delivering human rights abuses; promising good governance but delivering corruption; promising institutional autonomy but delivering state capture," he said.

Some Malawians online reacted with little enthusiasm on the new cabinet:

"I will not lie. I am greatly underwhelmed by the cabinet list. Perhaps our expectations were too high. Husband and wife and the wife's cousin all in one cabinet, really?" Alfie Saweta wrote.

Hugo Mlewa said: "He should have avoided family relations, simple... son of... husband of... brother of... Work hard work hard while he is lazy appointing families... Chilima said Malawi is not a family affair... two families. And here he is approving families in cabinet."

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