DPP’s proposed cabinet shows Mulhako dominance

If the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) were to win next months’ elections, cabinet and other influential government positions will be dominated by members of the Mulhako Wa Lhomwe cultural outfit, a leaked DPP memo shows.

In a confidential memo to DPP President Peter Mutharika and written by Ben Phiri, the party’s Director of Field Operations, Joseph Mwananvekha will be appointed as Minister of Finance, former Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo will come in as Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Patricia Kaliati will retain her position as Information minister and former first lady Calista Mutharika will be the Home Affairs Minister.

The party also plans to appoint Former Reserve Bank Governor Perks Ligoya as Minister of Water, former Director of Public Procurement Bright Mangulama as Minister of Agriculture.

Mutharika: Mulhako wa Lhomwe members to share cabinet, senior govt positions
Mutharika: Mulhako wa Lhomwe members to share cabinet, senior govt positions

It is clear from the memo that the party plans to continue from where it left from after the sudden death of President Bingu wa Mutharika who died in April 2012 after a heart attack.

“Sir, you will note that most members have been earmarked for their previous positions before April 7, 2012…The idea behind is to continue from where they left from and this will easy the operations of your Excellence’s government,” reads the memo in part dated March 10, 2014.

In key government positions, the DPP will maintain the status quo by appointing Peter Mukhito as Inspector General of Police. Mukhito oversaw the killing of 20 protestors on July 20 and the cold blooded murder of University student Robert Chasowa when he was heading the Police.

Edward Sawerengera will also retain his position as Chief of Staff, Alex Nampota will get his job back as ACB director, Rose Mbilidzi is proposed to head the Malawi Revenue Authority and Necton Mhura will head the Public Service as chief secretary to the president and cabinet.

The position of Reserve Bank Governor will be filled by Henry Namathanga. Namathanga was suspended at the Bank after he released over a million dollars dubiously to his wife to import fertilisers at the time government was facing acute forest shortages.

Charles Matabwa has been named in the DPP memo to head the National Food Reserve
Agency (NFRA) and Norman Chisale will head the Intelligence agency.

UNIMA Vice Chancellor will be given to Professor James Seyani.

“I have had thorough consultations with the assistance of Hon Chipungu, Hon Nankhumwa and our legal mind S. Kaphale…this also include the Mulhako Wa Lhomwe cultural group executive and businessmen who are supporting us since it has a bearing on business contracts…” reads the letter in part.

When asked for comment, Ben Phiri declined saying that his office does not comment publicly on internal and confidential party matters.

“Whether its true or false, these are internal party matters and therefore cannot be discussed in whatever form they come,” said Phiri.

In the proposal Saulos Chilima, the DPP running mate, will be responsible for the Privatisation Commission, the National Public Events Office, Civil Services and the Ministry of Trade and industry.

Malawi holds a tripartite election on May 20, 2014 in what is believed to be a very tight election.

The London based Economic Intelligence Unit last month said that incumbent President Joyce Banda is likely to win the election.

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