Nankhumwa accuses President Chakwera of nepotism on diplomat appointments, faults him on appointing judges to foreign missions

Leader of the Opposition in Parliament Kondwani Nankhumwa has criticized President Chakwera his nepotistic consideration in the appointment of diplomats to serve in various Malawi Government foreign missions.

He has accused the President for compromising the independence of the Judiciary by appointing judges as High Commissioners and Ambassadors.

He was speaking in Parliament on Friday, July 9, 2021 at the end of the 2021/2022 Budget Session.

The youthful politician said in his closing remarks that he had noted that the President had appointed his own relatives, friends and cronies to serve in foreign missions without regard to merit and qualifications and that this is against his own pledge to clear the rubble of nepotism and favouritism when he came into office.

Leader of Opposition delivering his assessment on Tonse Alliance

“On 9th May, 2018, when he was Leader of the Opposition, President Chakwera said in this same august House and I quote: ‘Mr Speaker Sir, I could go on and on naming DPP promises that were nothing but promises…If there is a foreign trip for the President, the DPP will flood his entourage with dozens of cash-hungry hand-clappers, because it is a chance for someone to steal from Malawians. If there is a vacancy at a foreign embassy that requires a professional and career diplomat, the DPP will send someone unqualified whose only credential is being related to someone at State House by tribe or blood, because it is a chance for someone to steal from Malawians’.

“Madam Speaker, when one looks at the list of diplomats that have been appointed by President Chakwera to serve in the various Malawi Government foreign missions, it is clear that almost everyone on the list is connected either through family ties or political ties to the appointing authority. This only confirms that the President and his Tonse Alliance government are practising nepotism.

“I wish to ask the President to walk his talk on clearing the rubble. I wish to remind him that he said he would ensure that this country belongs to all Malawians without regard to political affiliation, tribe, region, religion or race; Malawi wokomela tonse,” said Nankhumwa.

The Leader of Opposition also faulted President Chakwera over the appointment of Judges to serve in foreign missions, noting that the appointment of judicial officers into the Executive arm of government was “a direct attack on democracy and rule of law”.

“I wish to commend the Malawi Law Society for raising the red flag about the threat that such appointments pose to the independence of the Judiciary. Appointing Judges to serve in foreign missions will negatively impact on operations of the Judiciary. Already, there are not enough Judges compared with the workload. The backlog of cases within our court system has reached a crisis level and appointing Judges as Ambassadors and High Commissioners denies Malawians the right to fair trial,” he said, adding that the President should have been the first person to respect the right to fair trial as of one of the most important tenets of a democratic society.

Social media governance analyst Onjezani Kenani has said the Tonse Alliance partners took turns accusing Peter Mutharika (former President) of practising nepotism.

“What they meant was nepotism was bad for only those being put into government positions were not their own family members. Once they were voted into power, we’re now told that it’s not nepotism because the relatives they are appointing have qualifications,” writes Kenani on his Facebook page.

According to reports, Margaret Kamoto, mother-in-law to Vice President Saulos Klaus Chilima, has been appointed as High Commissioner to Zambia and President Chakwera’s daughter, Violet, has been posted to Brazil.

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