The vibrant human rights watchdog, the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), has described President Lazarus Chakwera as a Fools’ Day comedian for deferring indefinitely the release of the new Cabinet.
In February this year, Chakwera promised the nation that he be reconstituting his Cabinet before the end of March 2021 after assessing the performance of the incumbent ministers.
The President said the reconstitution would be to remove dead wood from the Cabinet to achieve superb quality service delivery to the public in line with the promises the Tonse Alliance made during the campaign in the run-up to the court-sanctioned Fresh Presidential Election, which was held on June 20, 2020.
On Monday this week, State House press secretary Brian Banda reiterated Chakwera’s commitment to re-assemble his Cabinet, saying the new Cabinet would be announced before April 1, 2021.
But a few minutes after the statement, Banda yet again returned to the podium, flying with a self-contradictory statement, saying Chakwera would take a little longer to assemble a new Cabinet.
The development has sparked debate among Malawians, with other pessimists with the Tonse government suggesting that there is a power struggle between the Malawi Congress Party and UTM Party, which are the main partners of the alliance.
Reacting to the development on Thursday, CDEDI executive director Sylvester Namiwa claimed that the postponement of the release of the new Cabinet has vindicated his organization’s fears that Malawians have “have a time waster and a joker in the high office of the presidency”.
“It was on 19th February 2021 when social media outlets were all awash with photos of Dr. Chakwera and the Vice President Dr. Saulos Chilima, apparently scrutinizing the Cabinet. On Tuesday, 30th March 2021, the State House was quoted as having announced that a cabinet shake up was in the offing and that a new list of cabinet ministers would be announced within 24 hours. Come Wednesday, 31st March 2021, President Chakwera tells Malawians that he still needs more time to scrutinise the results of the cabinet assessment report which was submitted to him by Dr. Chilima a few days ago,” said Namiwa.
He reminded Chilima and Chakwera that Malawians were tired of the comedy acted by the people they elected to spearhead the national socio-economic transformation agenda.
“What Malawians are anxiously waiting for from the two leaders are results, results, and results, and not jokes befitting Fools Day, which is 1st April,” said Namiwa.