Malawian President Prof. Peter Mutharika has appointed his maiden cabinet, mainly stalwarts from his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) with new faces of technocrats, Nyasa Times can reveal.
According to list sourced by Nyasa Times at midnight, Mutharika has restructured and merged some ministry to honour his election promise of a ‘lean’ cabinet to cut down on “unnecessary” recurrent government expenditure which has seen a cabinet of 20.[/caption]
The list has new faces of Francis Katsaira, Grace Obama Chiumia, Samuel Tembenu and Allan Chiyembekeza hired as full ministers.
The first list of cabinet sees DPP’s Director of Elections, Kondwani Nankhumwa appointed as Minister of Information which has now been merged with Ministry of Tourism, and the party’s purse keeper, Henry Mussa has been given the portfolio of Minister of Labour.
Dr. George Chaponda has been appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Operations, Dr. Jean Kalilani is now Minister of Health, Minister of Transport and Public Works is Francis Katsaira, Minister of Education, Science and Technology Dr. Emmanuel Fabiano, Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation Allan Chiyembekeza, Grace Obama Chiumia is now Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture and Samuel Temebenu is Minister of Justice.
Meanwhile the nine-member cabinet list is expected to be sworn-in Thursday morning at Mtunthama State Lodge in Lilongwe.
Aside appointed as minister, Katsaira has also been endorsed to be Leader of Government in Parliament with Nankhumwa as his deputy.
Henry Mussa is now government Chief Whip with Grace Obama Chiumia as his deputy.
Lawyer Tembenu is only one who has currently been appointed as a minister without being a Member of Parliament.
According to State House sources, the remaining list of cabinet will consists of members from other political parties as currently Mutharika is in negotiations to ensure the promised 20-member list has a mixture of both old and new blood.
The nine-member cabinet list joins Dr. Goodall Gondwe who was appointed as Minister of Finance a week ago.
Mutharika had come under growing criticism over the delay in appointing his cabinet.
A presidential spokesperson, Justice Mponda, said the rest of the 20-member cabinet will be announced at the weekend.
The new cabinet has a daunting task of spearheading the implementation of the ambitious DPP blue print of rebuilding the nation.
They are also likely to face renewed 50 percent pay hike demand by public servants that include teachers and nurses.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :