Lilongwe — National Governing Council (NGC) member for the ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP, Goodal Gondwe, was on Friday sworn in as Finance, Economic Planning & Development Minister.
The occasion took place in Lilongwe at Mtunthama State Residence and it was presided over by Clerk to Cabinet, Enerst Kantchentche.
Gondwe becomes the first minister to be appointed by President Prof. Peter Mutharika and speaking after the minister had been sworn in, the President said he was very proud to have conducted his first appointment in the name of Gondwe.
The President said he had decided to appoint Finance minister first in view of the national budget and other related issues which he said could not wait.
"I have had to appoint Finance Minister so that he acquaints himself with the budget process before Parliament commences next week," explained Mutharika, adding, "Mr. Gondwe is a man of great integrity and great ability and I can't think of any other better person who can perform like him."
Mutharika said he would be naming the rest of the 19 cabinet members soon before Parliament commences.
Speaking to journalists after the oath, Gondwe observed that there were a lot of things in Government that were not working and said he was poised to turn things round and make the Civil Service functional.
"I will make sure that civil servants get their salaries in time and I want to see our macro-economy stabilising; and the country's GDP increased," explained Gondwe.
He added that it was high time Malawians learnt not to rely on handouts but that they should learn to be self-reliant.
"As Malawians we should first look at how we can do the job ourselves rather than how others can do it for us," said Gondwe.
Also present at the ceremony were the Vice President, Saulos Chilima, and the Chief Secretary to the Government, Hawa Ndilowe, who directed the event.