Chakwera goes beyond Tonse territory as he appoints DPP lawmaker Owen Chomanika into his new Cabinet

President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera has crossed the boundaries of the Tonse Alliance government by appointing Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) lawmaker for Chikwawa North Constituency Owen Chomanika into his new Cabinet.

This fulfills the promise President Chakwera made in his National Address on January 1, 2023, that he would not consider political affiliations when appointing his new Cabinet to improve performance and efficiency of the ministers.

The Malawi leader vowed to part ways with anyone, including those considered political heavyweights, in his efforts to serve the interests and meet the expectations of Malawians who voted him into power.

Deputy Local Govt minister, Owen Chomanika

It probably did not come as a surprise therefore to see Malawi Congress Party (MCP) Secretary General, Eisenhower Mkaka, and his UTM Party counterpart Patricia Kaliati, missing from the list of his new Cabinet.

Instead, President Chakwera has brought in a few new faces who include Dr. Ken Zikhale Ng’oma as Minister of Homeland Security, Simplex Chithyola Banda as Minister of Trade and Industry, Uchizi Mkandawire, who will serve as Ministry of Youth and Sports, and Moses Kunkuyu, who replaces revered broadcaster and media owner Gospel Kazako at the Minister of Information and Digitalization.

Kazako has been dropped from the new Cabinet. The Malawi leader has also appointed Madalitso Kambauwa Wirima as Minister of Education replacing Agnes Makonda NyaLonje who has been moved to the Ministry of Labour.

President Chakwera has promoted Harry Mkandawire to full minister at the Ministry of Defence while former Minister of Homeland Security Jean Muonaowauza Sendeza has been moved to Ministry of Gender replacing Patricia Kaliati who has been dropped.

Deus Gumba has assumed the position of a full minister at the Minister of Lands – a portfolio that fell vacant after Sam Kawale was moved to the Ministry of Agriculture.

Comedian-cum-politician Michael Usi has been moved to the Ministry of Natural Resources and Climate Change where he has replaced Eisenhower Mkaka who has been dropped.

Other new faces in the new Cabinet are Owen Chomanika who will be deputizing Richard Chimwendo Banda at the Ministry of Local Government, Unity and Culture and Liana Kakhobwe who will deputize Abida Mia at the Ministry of Water and Sanitation.

Apart from Kazako and Kaliati, other casualties in the new Cabinet include former human rights activist Timothy Mtambo, who served as Minister of National Unity, and Mark Katsonga Phiri who served as Minister of Trade and Industry, and Albert Mbawala who was the Minister of Mining.

In his immediate reaction to the development, governance and human rights activist Undule Mwakasungula hailed Chakwera for making a bold decision in the appointments.

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