Minister of Information and Communications Technology Nicholas Dausi has denied accusations by a group of civil society organisations (CSOs) that President Peter Mutharika’s administration is favouring his Lhomwe tribe and practicing naked nepotism.
CSOs are concerned by the “Lhomwelisation” of the public service and public appointments.
But Dausi, who is government spokesman, issued a statement made available to Nyasa Times accusing the activists of giving selective information to confuse patriotic Malawians.
“Government would like to deplore the anti-government political propaganda being spread by some biased Non-Governmental Organizations who are attempting to create a perception that all top positions in government are occupied by one tribe,” Dausi said in the statement.
“These apostles of misinformation are using selective information to impress upon their believers that appointments to key positions in the public service are dominated by one tribe and not balanced in terms of tribal groups.
“Above all, the propagandists want the public to believe that it is wrong for His Excellency President Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika to appoint anyone from his tribe no matter how well qualified and deserving such a Malawian may be,” government spokesman added.
The activists also observed that all key positions in government are being held by people from the Lhomwe Belt—where Mutharika also comes from, diluting the whole essence of national meritocracy— doing things on merit.
At a news conference, representing nurses’ organisations in the country, Dorothy Ngoma said :“Why is it that all the key positions, including PS (Principal Secretary) Treasury, Chief Secretary, PS Health and the vast majority of boards are full of Lhomwes?
“I want to categorically condemn this despicable practice, as it is undermining the issue of meritocracy. We want to provide an example of nepotism by reading out this list,” Ngoma said.
But Dausi cited the following arms of government and departments are headed by meriting Malawians who are not Lhomwes: The Vice Presidency; The Judiciary; The Legislature; Malawi Police Services; Malawi Prison Services; Immigration Department; All public universities.
“In our 20 member Cabinet, which is the highest decision-making committee in the country, we have only three Lhomwes in the the Cabinet. As a matter of fact, there is no single Minister from Thyolo where the President comes from,” said Dausi.
Dausi said DPP-led administration had managed to include Cabinet ministers from across the country.