United Democratic Front (UDF) president Atupele Muluzi has distanced his party from Leader of Opposition Nankhumwa’s shadow cabinet, saying it was done without consultation.
In a message on Facebook, Atupele said he just learnt of the appointment through social media that it includes UDF Members of Parliament.
“I wish this was done in consultation with the UDF leadership,” he said in his short statement.
The public was also incredulous that Leader of Opposition Kondwani Nankhumwa didn’t appoint a lean shadow cabinet following calls by stakeholders that asked President Lazarus Chakwera to reduce his Cabinet.
But others opined that the opposition shadow cabinet is supposed to be in equal numbers as that of the government to provide check and balances against each ministry.
Nankhumwa’s shadow cabinet — comprising 24 full ministers and nine deputy ministers — is reported to have met on Friday at Parliament and it includes Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) presidential aspirants; Joseph Mwanamvekha and Bright Msaka.
These presidential aspirants will face Nankhumwa during an elective convention whose date would be announce by party president, Peter Mutharika.
The names include the majority from the DPP four from United Democratic Front (UDF) — DPP’s political alliance during the dress presidential election.
Conspicuously missing from the shadow cabinet list are DPP officials who are in the faction of Mutharika such as George Chaponda and party spokesperson Shadrick Namalomba.
Namalomba, who is Mangochi South West MP is reported to have retorted that the appointments of the shadow ministers are meaningless, saying these are not recognised in the august House.
Nankhumwa has asked Parliament to include the appointed shadow ministers in the law of the House for them to effectively provide checks and balances to the actual ministries.
The shadow cabinet has: CABINET
* Leader of Opposition—Kondwani Nankhumwa
* Minister of Defense—Vuwa Kaunda
* Public Sector Reforms—Owen Chomanika
* Agriculture—George Million
* Tourism, Culture and Wildlife—Victoria Kingston
* Finance and Economic Affairs—Joseph Mwananvekha
* Foreign Affairs—Yeremiah Chihana
* Natural Resources and Climate Change—Welani Chilenga
* Gender, Community Development & Social Welfare—Esther Jolobala
* Youth Sports and Culture—Francis Phiso
* Justice—Bright Msaka SC
* Education—Susuwele Banda
* Health—Jappie Mhango
* National Unity—Misolo Kapichila
* Information and Digitalization—Mark Botoman
* Homeland Security—Nicholus Dausi
* Labour—Joseph Nomale
* Water and Sanitation—Mary Thom Navitcha
* Transport and Public Works—Ralph Jooma
* Local Government—Victor Musowa
* Mining—Dr. Mathews Ngwale
* Energy—Sameer Suleman
* Trade and Industry—Gladys Ganda
* Lands—Noel Lipipa
* Defense—Bester Awali
* Gender, Community Development & Social Welfare—Martha Mzomera Ngwira
* Transport—Esther Majaza
* Agriculture—Bertha Ndewele
* Local Government—Francesca Masamba
* Lands—Yusuf Nthenda
* Health—Mabvuto Scott
* Water and Sanitation—Julius Chione Mwase
* Education—Ishmail Mkumba
Reacting to it, Davie Samikwa criticized the figure of 33 ministers as lacking “innovation — just the opposite of government side? I am disappointed” saying Nankhumwa should have merged the ministries by letting two government ministers equal one minister in opposition.
He suggested that Nankhumwa should have indicated his own way of running government while in opposition, saying “I would not want to mirror or be the exact opposite of government in power”.
Everson Namalomba disagreed, saying the opposition shadow cabinet is supposed to be in equal numbers as that of the government to provide check and balances against each ministry.
Daniel Mwalwimba opined that this is not a big problem since a shadow minister does get paid or get allowances, saying “they are there for checks and balances only and again the shadows must equal the cabinet ministers”.
Johannes Majawa took cognizance that the Malawi Congress a Party (MCP) under the leadership of John Tembo once had an opposition shadow cabinet and sees “no problem with this because it helps in checks and balances — they will be reporting to the Leader of Opposition.
Michael M’bwana was of the opinion that Nankhumwa’s appointment of an almost all-DPP MP cabinet with one from Aford and from UDF “is to influence those appointed MPs to stay behind him — but it won’t happen”, adding that Nankhumwa is very obsessed to grab power from the DPP.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :