Mo Sidik Mia and Abida Mia has become the first husband and wife to sit in the Tonse Alliance government Cabinet as the country in previous administrations had couples serving in Cabinet.
President Lazarus Chakwera appointed the Mia couple in his Cabinet on Wednesday night.
Sidik Mia, the Malawi Congress Party (MCP) first deputy president, who was also Chakwera’s running mate on the MCP ticket in the May 2019 nullified presidential elections is heading the Ministry of Transport and Public Works while his wife a firebrand politician and legislator Abida Mia has also been given a deputy post in the Ministry of Lands which will be headed by former parliamentary Legal Affairs Committee chairperson Kezzie Msukwa.
Economist Watipaso Mkandawire commenting about the Cabinet said those appointed who are related have all qualified in their own right.
“If the criteria was to find members of parliament with certain qualifications and those who are blood-related qualified, they should not be punished for being a brother or sister or wife of another qualifier. We are not the first and not the last.
“All those appointed can be traced as to their political involvement not as a spouse or sister, but as a participant. What is critical is that each, in their own right, have to deliver,” Mkandawire pointed out.
One of the opinion influencers on social media platforms, Kelvin Sulugwe also pointed out that Mia couple qualified for Cabinet in their own right each.
“Sidik Mia [one of the MCP officials with experience in serving in cabinet] is a man who sacrificed his political interests to accommodate and pave way for Tonse Alliance to happen. He was not selfish. He showed real transformation and leadership,” he wrote.
On Abida Mia, who Nyasa Times in 2018 heralded her as walking in the footsteps-of Winnie Mandela, the opinion maker Sulugwe said she fought side by side with people during those difficult demonstrations when most Malawians feared the streets.
“She was there and supported everyone who went to the streets to demand justice. She is one of the few women in the Tonse Alliance that did everything in her power to see to it that alliance succeeds,” he pointed out.
“I remember on the voting day [tippex election 2019], she was on the ground with a security team in the Lower Shire guarding the votes. There was an incident someone reported to me, when I enquired the people in the Lower Shire, her name came first, I called her and alerted her. She acted like a man and attended to all security alerts in the lower Shire. She was that instrumental. ”
And Kandodo family in Kasungu, members of founding President Ngwazi Kamuzu Banda, has a brother and sister who will be in sitting in Cabinet as all full ministers.
Ken Kandodo, appointed as Minister of Labour where he will be deputised by rookie Vera Kamtukule. Sister to Kandodo, Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda has meanwhile been appointed as the Minister of Health.
The 31 man cabinet has also an in-law to Minister of Information Gospel Kazako has also been appointed into the cabinet. Agnes Nkusa Nkhoma, a sister to Kazako’s late wife, has been appointed as deputy minister in the Ministry of Agriculture.
Critics expect that the new Cabinet would successfully carry out the transformation tasks the “government of the people” with the Tonse Alliance Philosophy of governance has promoted.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :