Anxiety has gripped government official and ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) over a looming cabinet reshuffle amid revelations that United Democratic Front (UDF) and some opposition lawmakers have been pencilled in the proposed changes and that the President may appoint a second vice president.
President Peter Mutharika has the prerogative of reshuffling his cabinet and no government official said cannot comment on behalf of the appointing authority.
State House sources say Mutharika wants the position of second vice president be re-introduced, with the holder enjoying equal privileges and other conditions as the incumbent state vice president, Saulos Chilima.
There has been fevered speculation on social media that Minister of Energy Atupele Muluzi is preferred to be named Second Vice President and that three of UDF members will make into cabinet.
UDF recently requested the Speaker to relocate its 14 MPs to government benches to reflect the governing pact of the two parties and the Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale has advised Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya that UDF can join DPP on government benches .
The impeccable sources confided in Nyasa Times that some of the ministers set to be dropped include Minister of Information Kondwani Nankhumwa, minister of Labour Henry Mussa and Minister of Home Affairs Paul Chibingu.
Others sources indicated that, Jappie Mhango, Grace Obama Chiumia, Allan Chembekeza are likely to dropped .
But the miniters were said to be canvassing to be reappointed.
Also being courted is Malawi Parliament’s Budget and Finance Committee chairperson Alekeni Wodala Menyani of Malawi Congress Party and People’s Party Mzomera Ngwira and Harry Mkandawires. It is not yet known if they will hired in cabinet.
There is also tension in DPP over the reintroduction of second vice president post and the party rank and file is opposing to the move.
The only holder of the second vice president position was the late Chakufwa Chihana, the then leader of the Alliance for Democracy (Aford). The republican constitution was amended during the second term of the former Head of State Bakili Muluzi to create the position of second vice president and Chihana was appointed on the premise of enhancing national unity.
But the reintroduction of second vice president will defeat the essence of austerity in the lean cabinet, observers noted.
The government is desperate for donor funding to turn around the economy and there has been a so-called “new friends” foreign policy to look at East and other countries such as Russia and North Korea.
Of late there has been a growing list of the President’s aides forced out of State House.
President Mutharika’s aide-de-camp (ADC) Lieutenant Colonel Fostino Gunda-Phiri was on Monday removed from his position joining presidential press secretary Frederick Ndala, presidential secretary Hilda Chapola, personal assistant to the First Lady, Philomena Kasambwe, deputy guard commander a Mr. Chikhungu and second deputy guard commander a Mr. Kabambe out of State House.
The President’s guard commander Duncan Mwapasa is also out of State House after being appointed as Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Malawi Police Service.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :