A group of civil society organisations (CSOs) has accused President Peter Mutharika’s administration of favouring his Lhomwe tribe, an accusation that triggered talk of secession and federalism led by legislators and professionals from Central and Northern regions following the ruling DPP’s trend of appointments of public officers since the party returned to power in May this year.
At a news conference, representing nurses’ organisations in the country, Dorothy Ngoma said the CSOs are concerned by the “Lhomwelisation” of the public service and public appointments.
The CSOs noted that the last five key appointments in government are based on ‘Lhomwelisation’ other than merit.
They include chief secretary to government Lloyd Muhara (Phalombe), Secretary to Treasury Ben Botolo (Mulanje) Malawi Defence Force commander Supuni Phiri (Mulanje), Reserve Bank of Malawi governor Daliso Kabambe (Thyolo), National Intelligence Bureau Elvis Thodi (Thyolo).
The activists also observed that all key positions in government are being held by people from the Lhomwe Belt—where Mutharika also comes from, diluting the whole essence of national meritocracy— doing things on merit.
“Why is it that all the key positions, including PS (Principal Secretary) Treasury, Chief Secretary, PS Health and the vast majority of boards are full of Lhomwes?
“I want to categorically condemn this despicable practice, as it is undermining the issue of meritocracy. We want to provide an example of nepotism by reading out this list,” Ngoma said.
Minister of Information, Communication and Technology Nicholas Dausi, merely said there is no grain of truth in what the CSO activists have alleged.
Dausi said DPP-led administration had managed to include Cabinet ministers from across the country.