Mutharika swears-in complete cabinet: Warns against revealing secrets

President Peter Mutharika on Monday afternoon swore in the other half of its new 20-member cabinet and again signalled a renewed drive to have transformational leadership.

Minister of Natural Resources Energy and Mining is UDF leader Atupele Muluzi-Pic By Lisa Vintulla.

Minister of Natural Resources Energy and Mining is UDF leader Atupele Muluzi-Pic By Lisa Vintulla.

Patricia Kaliati now heads the Ministry of gender, Children Disability and Social Welfare-pic by Lisa Vintulla

Patricia Kaliati now heads the Ministry of gender, Children Disability and Social Welfare-pic by Lisa Vintulla

Joseph Mwanamveka is now Minister of Trade and Industry -pic by Lisa Vintulla

Joseph Mwanamveka is now Minister of Trade and Industry -pic by Lisa Vintulla

New face on the Cabinet list is Paul Chibingu who is now heading Home Affairs Ministry-pic by lisa Vintulla

New face on the Cabinet list is Paul Chibingu who is now heading Home Affairs Ministry-pic by lisa Vintulla

Bright Msaka is now the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development -pic by Lisa Vintulla

Bright Msaka is now the Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development -pic by Lisa Vintulla

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Trasizio Thom Gowelo takes oath of office-pic by Lisa Vintulla.

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Trasizio Thom Gowelo takes oath of office-pic by Lisa Vintulla.

Vincent Ghambi swears in as Deputy Minister of Education and Science and Technology-pic by Lisa Vintulla

Vincent Ghambi swears in as Deputy Minister of Education and Science and Technology-pic by Lisa Vintulla

Deputy Minister of Defence Jappie Mhango takes oath of office -pic by Lisa Vintulla

Deputy Minister of Defence Jappie Mhango takes oath of office -pic by Lisa Vintulla

Mutharika had come under criticism for delays in appointing his full cabinet as he was naming ministers in dribs and drabs.

The President appointed nine ministers last week. A tenth minister, former International Monetary Fund official Goodall Gondwe, had already been given the finance portfolio.

In completing his cabinet, Mutharika  included United Democratic Front  (UDF) president Atupele Muluzi, who came in fourth in the disputed May ballot and was named as minister of natural resources, energy and mining.

A son of a former president, Muluzi becomes the only opposition lawmaker in Mutharika’s cabinet. The 36-year-old briefly worked as economic planning minister under ex-leader Joyce Banda before he quit to pursue his presidential bid.

He was accompanied by his wife Angella at State Lodge to a swearing ceremony at Mtunthama State Lodge in Lilongwe which was presided over by Clerk to the Cabinet Earnest Kantchentche.

Mutharika warned the new Cabinet Ministers against publicizing resolutions made in cabinet saying the practice was prosecutable.

“You are the connection between the Civil Service and the Presidency and according to the Constitution of the Republic, you are not supposed to reveal any resolutions made in cabinet, if you are found doing that, I will fire you right away,” threatened Mutharika.

He further advised the newly appointed ministers to speak with one voice and that they should desist from speaking on policy decisions.

“Policy decisions can only be made by the president or government spokesperson and not just everyone,” said Mutharika.

The new cabinet includes both new faces of technocrats and stalwarts from Mutharika’s Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

Mutharika, who is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, has combined the defence ministry to his portfolio.

Vice President Saulos Chilima will also be responsible for the 170,000-strong civil service and parastatals.

Former secretary to government Bright Msaka was sworn in as Minister of lands, housing and urban development.

Also taking oaths were former secretary to treasury Joseph Mwanamveka, as Minister of Trade and Industry and Patricia Kaliati will head the ministry of gender, children, disability and social welfare.

Others are Paul Chibingu who was assigned the Home Affair and Internal Security portfolio, and Thom Tarcizio Gowelo who will be responsible for local government.

The only two deputies – Vincent Ngambi for education and Jampi Mhango at defence also took their oath.

Mutharika, brother to the late 2004-12 president Bingu wa Mutharika, won a chaotic general election on May 20, ousting his predecessor Joyce Banda.

He face the task of restoring relations with donors who slashed aid making up 40 per cent of Malawi’s budget following a massive corruption scandal.

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