Malawi’s president, Lazarus Chakwera, has appointed a brand new cabinet. This comes after Chakwera shocked the world when he announced to the nation that he had dismissed his entire cabinet due to corruption allegations against a number of ministers.
On Monday, 24 January, Chakwera said that he had decided to let three ministers and other public officials accused of corruption, stand trial.
“I have dissolved my entire cabinet effective immediately, and all the functions of cabinet revert to my office until I announce a reconfigured cabinet in two days,” Chakwera said during the address.
Chakwera announced his new cabinet to Malawi yesterday as promised. The following initial ministerial cabinet appointments were made with effect from Wednesday 26 January 2022:
- Samuel Kawale, minister of lands
- Lobin C. Lowe, minister of agriculture
- Dr Michael Bizwick, minister of tourism, culture and wildlife
- Patricia Annie Kaliati, minister of gender, community development and social welfare
- Titus Mvalo, minister of justice
- Agnes Nyalonje, minister of education
- Khumbize Chiponda, minister of health
- Jacob Hara, minister of transport and public works
- Blessings Chinsiniga, minister of local government
- Vera Kamtukule, minister of labour
- Abida Mia, minister of water and sanitation
- Mark Phiri, minister of trade and industry
Problem long time coming
The former minister of lands, Kezzie Msukwa, who was detained last month in a bribery case, was excluded from the restructured cabinet. Msukwa is accused of profiting from land dealings involving a Malawian businessman located in the United Kingdom.
Meanwhile, former labour minister Ken Kandodo has been accused of stealing Covid-19 funding, and former energy minister Newton Kambala of interfering with the granting of fuel import contracts.
Floods, lengthy drought periods, crop-destroying pests and the coronavirus pandemic have hit the small nation hard, leaving 15% of the population food insecure. Despite its fairly modest area, it is among Africa’s top 10 for population density.
Chakwera is also the leader of the Malawi Congress Party (MCP), the country’s oldest and largest member of the ruling Tonse Alliance.
The president had been facing growing opposition from within the coalition, with many accusing his party of corruption, nepotism and leading the country toward economic disaster. His decision comes just days after the arrest of three former officials of the former ruling Democratic Progressive Party, including the former finance minister and central bank governor, who were widely expected to be his main opponents in the 2025 election.
Story originally published via FoodForAfrika.com
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