JB swears-in new Malawi ministers: ‘Be committed to people, not me’

President Joyce Banda on Wednesday witnessed the swearing in as Cabinet Ministers in her Government of Brown James Mpinganjira and Dr. James Munthali, urging on them to be committed to the people “whom we were called to serve” and not only her as Head of State.

Firebrand politician and one of the founding members of the governing People’s Party (PP), Mpinganjira, is new Irrigation and Water Development Minister following a cabinet reshuffle by the President on Monday.

Dr. Munthali –  a former CEO of Agricultural Research and Extension Trust (ARET) – is new Agriculture and Food Security Minister. They replace dropped Ritchie Muheya and Professor Peter Mwanza, respectively.

“The oaths of office, allegiance and secrecy that you have taken are a commitment not only to me as Head of State but, more importantly, to the people of Malawi who have given us the mandate to govern on their behalf,” said President Banda.

Dr. James Munthali takes oath of office and allegiance as new Agriculture and Food Security Minister at Kamuzu Palace on Wednesday July 3, 2013

Dr. James Munthali takes oath of office and allegiance as new Agriculture and Food Security Minister at Kamuzu Palace on Wednesday July 3, 2013

“I wish therefore to encourage you to put Malawi and the people first in the course of your work and above individual interests,” she said.

The Head of State observed that the expectations placed upon Government by the people are enormous “but also legitimate”, noting “we have come from the brink of economic crisis”.

“Whilst we are seeing signs of recovery, full recovery is not achieved yet. Therefore, we must work with more determination than ever. Remember that in this job you serve the country and its people. We are therefore stewards of the people. It is upon us to give back to the people diligence, commitment, dedication and fairness,” she advised the new ministers.

She said Agriculture is one of the priority sectors of the Economic Recovery Plan and is at the core of our agenda to ensure food security and wealth creation. It was imperative that the nation moved to commercialization, so that agriculture can also be a growing source of jobs and economic development, she added.

“Agricultural development will not come without adequate water and irrigation infrastructure.  Similarly, our food security will always be threatened by drought and other natural disasters if we do not pay urgent attention to irrigation farming and undertake effective environment and climate change management now,” said the President.

“Let me once again wish you well and assure you of my support as we join hands to serve the only country we can proudly call our home,” she concluded.

During her remarks, President Banda also commended the ministers for being with her “through thick and thin”.

President Joyce Banda congratulates Dr. Munthali's wife after the husband, looking on, took oath of office as cabinet minister

President Joyce Banda congratulates Dr. Munthali’s wife after the husband, looking on, took oath of office as cabinet minister

Brown James Mpinganjira being sworn in as new Irrigation and Water Development Minister in President Banda's Government as his wife looks on

Brown James Mpinganjira being sworn in as new Irrigation and Water Development Minister in President Banda’s Government as his wife looks on

The President makes her remarks the new ministers were sworn in

The President makes her remarks the new ministers were sworn in

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