Tonse Alliance presidential ticket pair of torchbearer Lazarus Chakwera and his running mate Saulos Chilima on Wednesday held a meeting with top brass of Malawi Congress Party (MCP) and UTM Party to cement their partnership with a deal of power-sharing Cabinet if they form the next government after the June 23 fresh presidential elections, Nyasa Times understands.
Part of the deal include that for the first time the country should have an empowered Vice-President and that Chilima—widely known by his initials SKC— would double as minister of Finance as well as heading the public sector reforms.
Chilima will be the country’s purse keeper in order to oversee the implementation of the nine-party Tonse Alliance manifesto which includes reducing fertiliser from the current K22 000 to K4 495 per 50 kg bag, creating one million jobs within a year and champion the public sector reforms and the economic reconstruction.
Nyasa Times understands that the highlights of the agreement are a 50-50 sharing of Cabinet and Civil Service positions in a government with MCP looking after its partners People’s Party (PP) of former president Joyce Banda and Freedom Party led by former vice-president Khumbo Kachali.
UTM will take care of its alliance partners Alliance for Democracy (Aford), Progressive People’s Movement (PPM), Mafunde and Petra.
They agreed on a 21-person Cabinet, with Chakwera keeping hold of most of the key ministerial posts for his MCP, including agriculture, health, defence, internal security, foreign affairs and Minister of State.
UTM was given the Finance, ministerial posts of lands, transport, education and sports, among others.
There will be two deputy ministers from each MCP and UTM making it four.
The power-sharing cabinet was the key component of alliance agreement.
MCP and UTM will also accommodate party bigwigs on both sides in other government positions including diplomatic posts.
Most of the country’s diplomats have their contracts expired and need replacement.
The rotational leadership arrangement was not part of the agreement.
But both Chakwera and Chilima assured their executive members who included deputy presidents, secretary generals and campaign directors of both parties that their pre-election agreement is solid.
One of the official who attended the meeting said the deal has offered them a “realistic chance” of forming the next government.
The country is scheduled to hold the court-ordered fresh presidential election within 150 days from February 3 2020.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :