President Peter Mutharika has named his 29-member cabinet, the first in his second five-year term of office, nearly a month after the controversial elections that brought him to office.
Mutharika, who was sworn in on May 28 and inaugurated on May 31 following his declared victory in the May 21 Tripartite Elections, has appointed his former agriculture minister Joseph Mwanamvekha, an economist and former banker, to be the country’s purse keeper as Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development.
Mwanamvekha moves from Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development where he was credited with boosting food security through surplus harvests of maize, Malawi’s staple grain.
He replaces Goodall Gondwe, who has been the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development for a decade.
Gondwe has not been given ministerial position but he is named in the Cabinet list as special advisor on finance and development.
Mwanamvekha is appearing as third-in-command on the protocol list of the Cabinet released by Chief Secretary to the government Lloyd Muhara as seen by Nyasa Times.
Second-in-command, Vice President Everton Chimulirenji has been given the ministerial duties responsible for disaster, relief management and public events.
Government spokesperson is now Mark Botomani, who has been appointed as Minister of Information, Civic Education and Communication Technology.
Mutharika has brought back several other old faces, including Jappie Mhango as health and population minister and Kondwani Nankhumwa to take care of agriculture, irrigation and water development.
The President picked another former minister, Francis Kasaila, to man the ministry of foreign affairs and international cooperation, Nicholous Dausi retained as Minister of Homeland Security while Bright Msaka SC is now Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs.
New faces in the cabinet include Ben Malunga Phiri who is taking care of local government and rural development, and Ibrahim Salim Bagus in industry, trade and tourism.
Others are Symon Vuwa Kaunda who was assigned the lands, housing and urban development and Dr William Susuwele Banda who will be responsible for the education, science and technology portfolio. Martha Lunji Mhone Chanjo was given the ministry of labour, skills and innovation, while Ralph Jooma is the minister of transport and public works.
The President has also appointed Mary Thom Navicha as Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, Bintony Kutsaira as Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining.
Francis Phiso has been named Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture.
The Cabinet has five deputy ministers who include lawyer Chipiliro Mpinganjjra as deputy minister of defence, Esther Majaza as deputy of local government while Martha Chiuluntha Ngwira is deputy for education.
Others are Charles Mchacha for transport, Grace Kwelepeta for gender and Mungasulwa Mwambande for Natural resources.
The President has maintained prominent lawyer Kalekeni Kaphale as Attorney General and appointed new aides who include Uladi Mussa as special advisor on parliamentary affairs, ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) secretary general Grezelder Jeffrey as special advisor on women affairs while president of Depeco party Dr Chris Daza is special advisor on governance.
Mutharika had come under growing criticism over the delay in appointing his cabinet.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :