Chakwera promises lean cabinet

Chimwendo Banda

Newly-elected Malawi’s President, Lazarus Chakwera has said he will appoint not more than 30 members of his cabinet within the next seven days.

Chakwera made the remarks at his private residence in Area 6, Lilongwe on Monday as two of the newly-appointed Ministers took oath of office.

Earlier in the day, the President appointed five ministers, including Felix Mlusu, a retired business executive and Richard Chimwendo, MP as Ministers of Finance and Homeland Security, respectively.

Felix Mlusu and his wife
Felix Mlusu (L) and his wife pose with the President

After Mlusu and Chimwendo too an oath, Chakwera made a short speech.

“These are decisions I have made after through consultations with Dr Saulos Chilima, my partner in the service of Malawi. As you may have noticed, I have thus far only made five cabinet appointments and two have already taken their oath of office. The reason these five are made immediately is because they are critical to the on-going process of transitioning from the previous administration in a manner that is smooth and orderly.

“The remaining appointments to cabinet which will have no more than 30 members in total will be made before the inauguration ceremony schedule to take place on the independence day. Additionally, in keeping with our promise and commitment to advance the cause ensuring that women participate in decision making at highest levels of my administration, no less than 40 percent of my cabinet will be women,” he said.

The President then urged the appointed members of cabinet and those to be appointed later to ensure they serve Malawians diligently.

“Your mission is to serve the people and your performance will be measured by how happy the people are with your service to them. Tonse ndi antchito a aMalawi. So may God be with you as you serve. Thank you,” he concluded.

Apart from the two, Chakwera also confirmed the appointment of his deputy, Saulos Chilima as Minister responsible for Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, while Mordecai Msisha, SC a private practise lawyer will lead the Ministry of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, and Chikosa Silungwe is the Attorney General.

Zangazanga Chikhosi is now the new Chief Secretary to the Government and will be deputised by Janet Banda the former Solicitor General, while Prince Kapondamgaga, who was CEO of Farmers Union has been appointed Chief of Staff of the State Residences.