President Peter Mutharika on Friday hit back at his critics who argue that say the current Cabinet is unconstitutional since it doesn’t include Vice-President Saulosi Chilima , saying appointment into Cabinet is not an honorary position.
Mutharika made the remarks at the Kamuzu Palace in Lilongwe on Friday during swearing in of new Cabinet members that included Everton Chimulirenji, promoted from Deputy Minister of Defence to Minister of Civic, Education, Culture and Community Development; Charles Mchacha as Deputy Minister for Homeland Security, Amosi Mailosi as Deputy Minister of Defence and Welani Chilenga as Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, Energy and Mining,
The Malawi leader dismissed those criticising his decision to leave out of the Cabinet his estranged deputy, saying there is nothing like sitting in Cabinet as an honorary position or as a matter of constitutional status but subscribing to the policies and agenda of the government of the day.
“We are here to collectively drive policies that should make a difference in the lives of Malawians. Therefore, you need to subscribe to the policies of this government. Either you are part of my Cabinet, or you are not part of my Cabinet, and that’s what is going to be,” said Mutharika.
The President, who avoided mentioning Chilima’s name, and kept referring to the Veep as ‘someone’, said working in cabinet demands discipline and collective responsibility which he said must be shown and adhered to by all cabinet members.
According to Mutharika, who is a law professor, there is no need to include into Cabinet a person who does not subscribe to the policies of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP)-led government.
“Because we work on the principle of collective responsibility, you cannot sit on cabinet if you are not part of its agenda. Every cabinet has a policy agenda,” he said.
Mutharika said he has trust in everyone he has appointed and expects them to live up to the expectation of the people and serve Malawians with a patriotic spirit, integrity and hardwork.
He warned them against indulging in corrupt activities, but work towards safeguarding the public pulse by being transparent and accountable in their dealings.
“I would like to urge you to protect public resources and foster transparency and accountability. I appeal to you to desist from engaging in corrupt activities,” said Mutharika.
He added: “Corruption is an evil that must be fought out of our society. It is a collective responsibility of us all to fight corruption. Currently, our rate of corruption control is at 65 percent, according to Millennium Challenge Corporation [MCC] report just released this week. But we need to fight more. Join me in the fight.”
The law requires newly appointed Ministers and Deputy Ministers to be sworn in before they can discharge their functions.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :