Malawi President Peter Mutharika sidelined members of United Democratic Front (UDF), the party which a loose working relationship with his government, when he rewarded members of his Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) with appointments as board members for parastatals.
According to a list from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) released on Monday, Mutharika continued with the politics of patronage when he appointed most of ruling DPP politicians in the boards.
But UDF members, whose president Atupele Muluzi is serving in Mutharika’s cabinet, were conspicuously missing.
Leader of the House Francis Kasaila confirmed recently the working relationship of DPP and UDF calling it a coalition but political scientist Dr Henry Chingaipe called it a ‘governing pact’ not a coalition and said the affair is ‘cosy’.
UDF members have been accusing Atupele of “self-serving” in the working partnership with DPP.
The sideling of UDF members in the boards heightened such accusations.
But UDF spokesman Ken Ndanga said it was “not surprising” to have the party members missing and pointed out that the party members have a “right to not to be amused.”
Chingaipe pointed out that DPP did not need UDF to govern after they won the election.
“If the current arrangement fell apart, the government would still function as if nothing ever happened. With coalitions, the scenarios would be very different. The UDF/DPP arrangement is simply some kind of a ‘a political pact’ that began with agreements at personal level and over time, following the drift of patrimonial politics that characterise our political leaders, extended to their political parties,” said Chingaipe.
Apart from DPP operatives, Mutharika has also roped in opinion makers including civil society activist, a move seen as a silencer.
Outspoken individuals appointed include Consumer Association of Malawi chair John Kapito, Catholic Commission Justice and Peace (CCJP) General Secretary Chris Chisoni and Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM) Fr. George Buleya, Monsignor Boniface Tamanani, Bishop Vitta Malasa, activists Emmie Chanika and Billy Banda.
The boards list has also drawn a mixture of professionals including University of Malawi Dean of Law Dr. Mwiza Nkhata , lawyers Bob Chimkango, Chancy Gondwe, Kamuzu Chibambo and there are also some traditional leaders on the list who include Chief Kyungu, T/A Nsamala, T/A Liwonde, T/A Bvumbwe, T/A Ngolingoliwa and T/A Tsabango.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :