Malawi’s president Bingu wa Mutharika has hired a new 32-member cabinet, including himself and wife First Lady Calista Mutharika.
State vice president Joyce Banda’s name is conspicuously missing from the new list.
According to a list of the new ministers read out on state-owned Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC), there are several prominent members of the previous cabinet who have not made it back; others have been promoted; others have been drafted in for the first time while others are making a comeback.
Notable come-back members include former finance minister Goodall Gondwe who is now Natural Resources, Energy and Environment minister.
Former Transport and Public Works Minister Henry Mussa has now been brought back as Local Government minister while Sidik Mia stays put at Transport, the portfolio he held until the recent dissolution.
The surprise inclusions include that of Ephraim Chiume who goes to Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Dr. Jean Kalirani who is now new Health minister and the re-appointment of Patricia Kaliati as Information and Civic Education minister, replacing Vuwa Kaunda who has been posted to Youth Development and Sports; Dr. Cornelius Mwalwanda who will deputize Dr. Ken Lipenga at Finance and Economic Development. Dr. Lipenga is former Tourism Minister, which is now entrusted with Daniel Liwimbi.
The President’s young brother and Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) 2014 torch-bearer, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika has been moved from Education, Science and Technology to Foreign Affairs where he will be deputized by his close confidante, Kondwani Nankhumwa.
Dr. George Chaponda replaces the younger Mutharika at Education where Otria Moyo Jere and Victor Songazaudzu Salijeni retain their positions as deputies for tertiary and higher education, and primary and secondary education respectively.
The biggest casualties include former Finance minister Ken Kandodo, former Local Government minister Anna Kachikho, former Development Planning and Cooperation minister Abbie Shawa and former Foreign Affairs minister Professor Etta Banda. Other casualties are Grain Malunga and Eunice Kazembe.
According to the MBC, the president has appointed a leaner cabinet in line with the DPP manifesto and the zero-deficit budget that his government is currently implementing for the 2011/12 fiscal year.
The new members will be sworn-in at New State House in Lilongwe on Friday, according to the state broadcaster.
President Mutharika dissolved his 42-member cabinet on Friday, August 19, 2011.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :