President Peter Mutharika has directed that Vice-President Saulos Chilima be replaced by Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development, Joseph Mwanamvekha at international think tank the Malabo Montpellier Panel to co-chair a High Level Policy Dialogue Forum on African Agriculture and Food Security.
Malabo Montpellier Panel appointed Chilima last year and he co-chaired the inaugural meeting together with Abdoulaye Bio Tchané, Benin’s minister of State for Planning and Development.
On Tuesday July 10 2018, the vice-president was scheduled to co-chair and host the forum in Lilongwe to launch a new report by the panel titled ‘Mechanised: Transforming Africa’s Agriculture Value Chains.’
However, Chief Secretary to government Lloyd Muhara has informed Secretary to the vice-president Clement Chinthu Phiri in a letter dated July 7, 2018 that the international conference should instead be presided over by Minister of Agriculture, Mwanamvekha.
Muhara in the letter also said President Mutharika has directed that Mwanamvekha chairs the forum in his capacity as Minister of Agriculture, Irrigation and Water Development.
“I write to inform you that His Excellency Prof Arthur Peter Mutharika has assigned Hon Joseph Mwanamvekha, MP in his capacity as Minister of Agriculture to chair the Malabo Montpellier Forum which Malawi will host on 10th July, 2018,” the letter from Muhara reads.
Muhara asked Chinthu Phiri to “take note of this assigned role and inform the relevant parties accordingly.”
But the Chief Secretary expects the vice-president’s office to continue the coordination of the event to make it “a success.”
The forum provides a platform for decision makers at the highest level of government to review the evidence on progress that is being achieved on the ground towards meeting key agriculture and food security goals.
It also provides exchange on lessons and strategies to foster positive change across all African countries.
The Malabo Montpellier Panel consists of 17 leading African and European experts in agriculture, ecology, nutrition, public policy and global development.
The decision to take over Malabo portfolio comes at a time when President Mutharika on Friday directed that the Department of Disaster Management Affairs and National Public Events, previously under the office of Vice-President, to be under the Office of President and Cabinet.
The development comes at a time when Chilima has publicly expressed dismay over growing levels of corruption in government, deteriorating standards of living among Malawians and hooliganism orchestrated by the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) youth cadets.
Chilima, apart from dumping the DPP at a time some party gurus were asking him to challenge Mutharika at the recent [July 1-3] convention, has also hinted at challenging Mutharika in next year’s Tripartite Elections.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :