A new cabinet in Malawi has been sworn in with President Peter Mutharika on Saturday warning 32 of his newly hired ministers and their deputies against corruption, saying he would not spare anyone found abusing their positions.
Speaking during the swearing-in ceremony for newly assembled Cabinet at Sanjika Palace in Blantyre, Mutharika said the Chief Secretary to government will give the ministers important reference documents which includes a Cabinet Handbook.
“I urge you to read it because it will guide you in your day to day work as a member of the Cabinet,” said Mutharika.
The President called upon the ministers to protect public resources and foster transparency and accountability.
“I appeal to you to desist from engaging in corrupt activities. As I have said many times before, corruption is a menace in society and deprives the Government of the limited resources for development,” said Mutharika.
He warned: “The wheels of justice will not spare you where you are found to be in conflict with the law.”
Mutharika stressed the he wants a corrupt-free Malawi where our public resources continue to build roads, community technical colleges and buy drugs for the people.
“This is important in order to safeguard government’s integrity and sustain the trust that Malawians have bestowed upon us,” he said.
Mutharika hired the 32-member Cabinet which has incorporated alliance partner United Democratic Front (UDF) and reward loyalty by promoting controversial Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regional governor (South) Charles Mchacha, from deputy minister of Transport and Public Works to Minister of Irrigation and Water Development.
Journalist-turned-politician Kondwani Nankhumwa, who also served in Bingu wa Mutharika’s Cabinet as deputy minister, has been appointed as Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. Nankhumwa’s former Ministry of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development has been split between Mchacha and a 1993 civil engineering graduate from the University of Malawi’s Polytechnic, Francis Kasaila, who is now Minister of Agriculture and Food Security.
The Head of State has maintained dethroned vice-president Everton Chimulirenji, who appears second on the list, as Minister of Disaster Management Affairs and Public Events.
Apart from UDF president Atupele Muluzi who is back in Cabinet at ne ministry of energy, the UDF leader in parliament Lilian Patel has been given the portfolio of Minister of Labour, Skills and Innovations while Clement Chiwaya becomes Minister of Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly.
Another beneficiary of the alliance is Ishmael Mkumba, UDF’s Blantyre Malabada legislator, who is now Deputy Minister of Education, Science and Technology, a ministry whose head remains William Susuwele-Banda.
Another newcomer is Kamlepo Kalua as Minister of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
Others who have been maintained are Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister Bright Msaka, Local Government and Rural Development Minister Ben Phiri, Finance, Economic Planning and Development Minister Joseph Mwanamvekha, Transport and Public Infrastructure Minister Ralph Jooma, Gender, Child Development and Community Development Minister Mary Navicha and Information, Civic Education and Communications Technology Minister Mark Botomani.
Karonga Nyungwe legislator Kenneth Ndovie, who was under fire last year for joining DPP after he was elected on an independent ticket, is now Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade.
Another new face is DPP Zomba Malosa legislator Grace Kwelepeta, coming in as deputy at Gender Ministry.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :