Mutharika tipped on inclusive appointments in new Malawi cabinet

President Peter Mutharika has been urged by the country’s socio-political commentators to appoint a cabinet which will reflect the oneness of the Malawian people.

The 74-year-old Mutharika, sworn in on Monday after the highly contested May 20 tripartite elections last month, hinted he would make his cabinet public Friday this week. He said his cabinet will comprise 20 members only.

“His cabinet should largely represent the population of the country and not a population of a certain region that his power base,” Joseph Chunga, a University of Malawi Political Science lecturer, said.

Chunga: Inclusive government good for the country

Chunga: Inclusive government good for the country

Fears were high prior to the elections that Mutharika is likely to appoint a regionalist cabinet as was the case with his late elder brother Bingu, whose cabinet had more members from the Lomwe belt – their tribe.

But Chunga stressed that apart from doing away with tribal appointments, Mutharika should also observe separation of powers within the three arms of government – Executive, Legislature and Judiciary – when doing the appointment.

He opined: “People who double as an MP and cabinet Minister usually have difficulties in delivering in their two demanding roles.”

While Civil Liberties Committee (Cilic) executive director Emmie Chanika prayed that there is need to have gender balance in the appointment of the new cabinet considering the fact that more than 52 per cent of the country’s population are women.

Political scientist Mustapha Hussein tipped Mutharika to even include people who are not members of his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP).

“The cabinet should be composed of effective leaders with competences to churn policies that will enhance performance of the public sector with finance, health, agriculture and education as some of the priority areas. He may consider including experts or qualified professionals outside political parties,” Hussein was quoted as saying by The Daily Times.

Mutharika promised a Cabinet of technocrats during his campaign for last month’s tripartite elections.

Ruling DPP spokesman Nicholous Dausi said the newly elected leader will pick “a Cabinet of technocrats.”

Said Dausi:“We want to move away from a period of mediocrity to a period of meritocracy, and that would soon be announced soon after the inauguration.”

Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world with more than seventy percent of her people surviving on less than US$1 a day, has made scanty strides in her economy since independence 50 years ago.

Hopes are, however, high that Mutharika – a seasoned law professor who for 40 years taught at Washington University – is likely to turn tables around.

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