Leader of Malawi’s largest opposition the Malawi Congress Party John Zenus Ungapake (JZU) Tembo has hailed the country’s President Joyce Banda for reducing her cabinet to only 32 ministers down from 36.
Tembo has described the revised cabinet as released on Monday as an improvement from the previous ones. At one time during late Bingu wa Mutharika Malawi had a cabinet of up to 46 ministers a situation that raised eyebrows and concerns among many Malawians considering the size of the country’s economy.
“However the country can do with an even less number of Cabinet Ministers and deputies,” said Tembo to Nyasa Times.
Consumers Association of Malawi (Cama) executive director John Kapito, a known critic of Banda and her predecessor Bingu wa Mutharika , also commended the trimming of the Cabinet .
“In our petition, one of the issues raised was the need to trim the Cabinet. Although we wanted more, government has shown that it listened because the Cabinet should correspond with the austerity measures being undertaken,” said Kapito.
President Banda announced a new 32-man cabinet on Monday when he also brought in veteran politician and her People’s party strongman Brown Mpinganjira as new Minister of Water Development and Irrigation replacing dropped Ritchi Muheya and leaving out Professor Peter Mwanza as Minister of Agriculture.
Mwanza was replaced by a new face Dr James Munthali.
Other major casualties in the new cabinet include Ritchie Muheya who has been replaced by Mpinganjira, Jennifer Chilunga who was at Environment and Climate Change Management where he has been replaced by Halima Daudi, and Mkhwauli Msiska formally deputy for Economic Planning.
In the new Cabinet, Banda has trimmed down the number of deputy ministers from 11 to seven which include Economic Planning; Environment and Climate Change Management; Gender, Children and Social Welfare; and that for Transport and Public Works.
The changes in the deputies has also seen Chimango Mughogho and Augustine Mtendere being completely dropped while Godfrey Kamanya who was deputy for Environment and Climate Change Management has been moved to Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development as deputy while Agness Chatipwa from Gender has been moved to deputise Minister of Health.
All other portfolios including those being held by the President and her vice Khumbo Kachali have remained unchanged.
This is the second reshuffle by President Banda since she was sworn in as President on April 7, 2012 soon after the death of his predecessor late Bingu wa Mutharika.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :