President Peter Mutharika has been advised by a University of Malawi don, to focus on “objective appointments” when hiring people into public positions but also ensure gender equality.
Happy Kayuni, Associate Professor and head of Political and Administrative studies department at the University of Malawi, Chancellor College observed that political appeasement has been the major driving factor in most appointments.
Kayuni in a published interview in the local press noted that President Mutharika has “to a larger extent” tried to focus on capability or performance in his recent appointments he has made including a cabinet reshuffle.
“But we still have a long way to go before we finally achieve a realistic objective approach which is divorced from political appeasement,” said Kayuni.
“I strongly encourage our president to focus on objective appointments because Malawi has a number of well-qualified people who have never been given an opportunity to fully realise their potential,” he added.
The University academic also urged Mutharika to consider women in his appointment, saying gender equality has now increasingly become one key indicator of good governance.
Mutharika has three female ministers in his 20-member lean cabinet.
The President was also recently criticised by gender and human rights activists when he appointed seven commissioners for the Malawi Human Rights Commission (MHRC), one female in a team of seven.
“Politically speaking, making gender-balanced appointments not only enhances the government’s image, but also demonstrates that the government is inclusive and responsive,” said Kayuni.
He pointed out that Mutharika’s appointment of six men and one woman at MHRC is “a reflection of the wider socio-political culture in the country which has over the years systematically undermined the contribution of women to development of this country.”