Atupele, Msaka in cabinet: Mutharika hires full Malawi cabinet

Malawian President Peter Mutharika has named his full 20-member cabinet in which he has included president of opposition United Democratic Front (UDF) Atupele Muluzi and former Secretary to President and Cabinet, Bright Msaka as ministers.

Mutharika on Thursday named  half of the cabinet, nearly a month after the chaotic elections that brought him to office.

Atupele:  "Ung'ono ung'ono" in cabinet
Atupele: “Ung’ono ung’ono” in cabinet
 Msaka: Minister
Msaka: Minister
Mwanamvekha:  Minister
Mwanamvekha: Minister

But on Sunday filled all ministries according to the list seen by Nyasa Times.

Mutharika has appointed Atupele  to be the new  Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining.

Atupele, famous for his ‘agenda for change’ theme and of the ung’ono ung’ono (young generation) fame, came fourth in the presidential race.

A son of a former president, Atupele 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.

The President picked Msaka to man the ministry Lands, Housing and Urban Development.

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.

Mutharika has appointed former secretary to treasury Joseph Mwanamveka, as Minister of Trade and Industry.

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 cabinet has two deputies Vincent Ngambi for education and Jampi Mhango at defence.

Mutharika first tapped former finance minister Goodall Gondwe to resume his position and in a second selection s brought back several other old faces, including Henry Mussa as labour minister and Jean Kalilani to take care of health.

George Chaponda was appointed minister of foreign affairs and international cooperation.

New faces in the cabinet include Francis Kasaira who is taking care of transport and public works, and Kondwani Nankhumwa in information, tourism and civic education.

Others are Emmanual Fabiano who was assigned the education, science and technology portfolio, and Allan Chiyembekeza who will be responsible for agriculture and irrigation.

Grace Obama Chiumia was given the ministry of youth, sports and culture, while lawyer Samuel Tembenu is the new justice and constitutional affairs minister.

Mutharika has pledged a slimmer cabinet in a bid to cut costs in the impoverished southern African nation, which depends heavily on donor inflows to keep the agriculture-powered economy afloat.

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