Member of Parliament of Salima North West, Jessie Kabwila and Chiradzulu East MP, Henry Mussa, on Thursday clashed in parliament after Kabwila echoed remarks of MP for Mzimba West Harry Mkandawire that the new set of Cabinet ministers appointed by President Peter Mutharika has exposed the rationalistic agenda of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led administration.
Kabwila, who is also spokeswoman for Malawi Congress Party (MCP) said President Mutharika’s cabinet should have considered regional balance when appointing ministers citing Central Region which has only two cabinet ministers.
“Central Region is big it cannot be represented by two cabinet ministers,” she said. “This could affect development of the country.”
But Minister of Labour Henry Mussa, who is also DPP Chief Whip rising on point of order, said MCP should not have raised the issues because they are biggest culprits on politics of regionalism.
Mussa said MCP’s most substantial position in their executive committee had been allocated to its stronghold of Central.
“They say charity begins at home, MCP should be the last people to talk about the President appointing cabinet ministers on regionalism. There was a chance for MCP to have the former Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo (from south) to get a substantial position but he was not even appointed in the executive committee?” Mussa said.
“Apart from the MCP Vice-President, Right Honourable Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya who comes from the North who else has substantial position? All the positions are filled from people from Central Region.”
On Kabwila’s criticism on cabinet composition Mussa said the cabinet comprises the President, Vice-President Saulos Chilima, who comes from the Central Region district of Ntcheu.
“When we talk about cabinet it’s not only cabinet ministers. It includes the President and Vice-President who comes from Central Region,” he said.
Mkandawire this week told parliament that the new government’s nepotism will plunge the country into untold misery.
He accused Mutharika of ethnicity favouritism in the way he appointed his cabinet.
“Fifteen ministers out 20 are from the Southern Region and most of them from one tribal group. There can be no other case of nepotism and tribalism than this,” said Mkandawire.
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