Malawi women rights activists are up in arms against President Peter Mutharika for failing to increase the number of women in his 20 member cabinet.
Mutharika has maintained three female ministers in his reshufled cabinet a far cry from the 50:50 female representation.
Jean Kalirani moved from Home Affairs to Gender and Social Welfare where its minister Patricia Kaliati has moved to ministry of information where she will be government spokesperson.
Grace Chiumia has retained her cabinet portfolio at Sports and Culture ministry.
Mutharika has axed a male cabinet minister Allan Chiyembekeza and hired another male minister Aggrey Massi who heads to Transport and Works minister as deputy.
NGO Gender Cordination Network executive director Emma Kaliya described the failure by Mutharika to increase the number of women in the cabinet as shameful and retrogressive.
“This is worrisome and shameful. He just gives lip service on these matters, this is retrogressive,” she said.
Political commentator at Chancellor College Henry Chingaipe said this was surprising because the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) manifesto promises that the party would ensure equity in all appointments including the cabinet.
He said the president appoints people intto the cabinet on political considerations, saying this is why only three cabinet ministers are in the cabinet.
The Republican Consitution gives powers to the state president to appoint cabinet ministers and fire them without giving reasons.