After Nyasa Times recently reported about a looming cabinet reshuffle amid revelations that United Democratic Front (UDF) and some opposition lawmakers have been pencilled in the proposed changes and that the President may appoint a second vice president, the Public Affairs Committee (Pac) has cautioned President Peter Muntharika against reintroducing the a second vice president post.
Mutharika wants the position of second vice president be re-introduced, with the holder enjoying equal privileges and other conditions as the incumbent state vice president, Saulos Chilima.
The President is preferring Ministers of Energy and Mining who is UDF leader Atupele Muluzi as the country’s second vice president.
But during a meeting with the Head of State at Kamuzu palace in Lilongwe , the nfluential quasi-religious organisation, caution Muntharika against the appointing a second vice president in the wake of austerity spirit.
Pac chairperson, Felix Chingota, reportedly told the President that Malawians are worried that the coalition might also lead to the ballooning of the lean cabinet.
“Any plan to expand the Cabinet by way of including UDF MPs would strengthen the observation that other regions are being sidelined. So too the argument made that appointment of Cabinet Ministers should largely target MPs should not be the way to go where social cohesion is required,” said Chingota as quoted by the local press.
Pac has since advised Mutharika not to change the number of 20 to the cabinet ” so that political inclusivity can be achieved within the same size of the cabinet…”
UDF recently requested the Speaker to relocate its 14 MPs to government benches to reflect the governing pact of the two parties and the Attorney General (AG) Kalekeni Kaphale has advised Speaker of Parliament Richard Msowoya that UDF can join DPP on government benches .
The only holder of the second vice president position was the late Chakufwa Chihana, the then leader of the Alliance for Democracy (Aford). The republican constitution was amended during the second term of the former Head of State Bakili Muluzi to create the position of second vice president and Chihana was appointed on the premise of enhancing national unity.
But the reintroduction of second vice president will defeat the essence of austerity in the lean cabinet, observers noted.
The government is desperate for donor funding to turn around the economy and there has been a so-called “new friends” foreign policy to look at East and other countries such as Russia and North Korea.
State House press officer, Chikondi Juma, confirmed the meeting between PAC and President. but maintained that it was purely private and refused to comment.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :