DPP asks Chakwera to reduce size of his entire cabinet from 31 to below 20

Soon after President Lazarus Chakwera dissolved his Cabinet on Monday, the opposition Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) issued a statement that the decision has been long overdue, saying the “dissolved cabinet had more spectators and less of doers”.

Thus the DPP implores on Chakwera that he reduces the size of his entire cabinet from 31 to below 20 — including the President himself and his Vice-President Saulos Chilima and that certain ministries such as Civic Education and Information, Trade and Industry could be merged.

The DPP also expects Chakwera to reconfigure his cabinet “that is truly representative of Malawi” and to “desist from appointing people from one district, region or faith group” and “to trim the number of his presidential advisors to around 5”.

Shadric Namalomba: Hire lean cabinet

As if Chakwera has taken note, the Ministry of Trade and that of Industry has been merged and was appointed to one of Malawi’s successful business entrepreneur, Mark Katsonga Phiri — who is Neno South Member of Parliament.

Katsonga Phiri replaces Sosten Gwengwe while the previous portfolio of Industry was held by Roy Kachale Banda — son to former President Joyce Banda.

Chakwera has also brought in new face, Dowa North East legislator Sam Kawale as Minister of Lands — replacing beleaguered Chitipa East MP Kezzie Msukwa, who was fired over the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) alleged corrupt dealings.

Chikwawa Mkombezi MP, Abida Mia — who was deputy Minister to Msukwa — has been elevated to full Minister to head a newly-constituted Ministry of Water and Sanitation.

Vera Kamtukule has also been elevated to Minister of Labour.

Those retained in their posts include: Patricia Kaliati; Titus Mvalo; Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda and Jacob Hara — who stays on after his recent appointment as Minister of Transport.

Remaining Ministries include Economic Planning, Development & Public Sector Reforms (formerly held Vice-President Saulos Chilima); Finance Felix Mlusu); Homeland & Security (Richard Chimwendo Banda); Foreign Affairs (Eisenhower Mkaka); Information (Gospel Kadzako) and Youths and Sports (Ulemu Msungama).

The statement issued by spokesperson, Shadric Namalomba, on Monday, attacks the President saying he “failed to evaluate and reconfigure his cabinet 6 months of forming government”.

The DPP also disagreed that Chakwera’s decision was “a demonstration of his resolve to confront all forms of lawlessness by public officials” and that the “main reason for the dissolution of cabinet is President Chakwera himself”.

“President Chakwera has failed to provide decisive leadership in making critical decisions at a time it matters most,” wrote Namalomba in the statement. “He has failed to lead cabinet and provide policy and economic direction of this country.

“Any cabinet will fail because it is led by a president who is a failure. President Chakwera should have fired himself along with his cabinet. It is a mockery to Malawians to fire his entire cabinet and exclude himself.

“Be as it may, the decision to dissolve cabinet has been long overdue. Malawians will recall that against his own words, President Chakwera failed to evaluate and reconfigure his cabinet 6 months of forming government. The dissolved cabinet had more spectators and less of doers.”

To make the war against corruption and lawlessness a reality for all Malawians, the DPP asks Chakwera “to make decisive undertaking to reform the civil service”.

“He must make public recommendations contained in the Public Service Reforms report and provide an assurance of his government resolve to implement the reforms,” Namalomba concluded.

Owing to his preoccupation of the national disaster that the country has experienced following the floods caused due to Cyclone Ana that came from the coast of Indian Ocean, Chakwera has left out some Cabinet portfolios by just appointing the 12 members.

Meanwhile, the DPP was agreeing to what Consumer Association of Malawi (CAMA) had earlier suggested that the President should trim his cabinet as well as reduce the large number of presidential advisors.

Before the dissolution of the cabinet, CAMA Executive Director John Kapito had alluded that the presidential advisors’ main job description is not being explained and justified and that Chakwera has “a bloated cabinet that is inefficient and does not add value to the taxpayer”.

Kapito — just as the DPP said — also requested Chakwera to merge most of the Ministries and put them under his office or that of the Vice-President and to be managed by efficient directors in order to have an improved cost effective delivery of services.

Kapito further asked the President, his Cabinet Ministers and the Presidential Advisors to reduce their frequent travels both local and international which “do not to add value to Malawians”.

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