Retired politician and former president of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) John Tembo has added his voice to the growing chorus of expressing discontentment on regionalist aspects that surrounded the appointment of President Peter Mutharika’s 20-member cabinet.
Mutharika has come under heavy criticism from opposition in the way he has selected his cabinet and some public appointments. Critics accuse him of practising nepotism by giving top positions in government to people from his southern region, loyalists and his tribesmen.
They argue that the new appointments and cabinet has exposed rationalistic agenda of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led administration.
In a news paper interview on Saturday, Tembo, who retired from frontline presidential politics before the MCP’s convention last year, said Mutharika’s government must learn from how MCP conducted its business when it was in power.
“As a leader of MCP Dr. [Hastings] Banda did not sideline people from other regions because their populations were smaller,” Tembo was quoted as saying by Weekend Nation .
He added: “In fact, more ministers came from the Northern Region; Chisiza, Chiume, Aleke Banda, Orton Chirwa came from there. This brought confidence to all the regions and that’s what this government should strive for.”
Mutharika announced his cabinet about over a fortnight ago of which ninety five per cent of the members are from his Southern Region. One member is from the Centre while three are from North.
The previous DPP government led by Mutharika’s brother, late Bingu wa Mutharika, also faced widespread criticism on nepotism.
Many people who spoke to Nyasa Times said Mutharika and his DPP could do well to listen to this free advice instead of continuing to display the “executive arrogance” that Malawians have now come to detest.