10 July 2018

Malawi Govt Dismisses Nepotism Charges By CSOs With Statistics to Back Its Defence

Chief Secretary in the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) Lloyd Muhara has dismissed accusations by a group of civil society organisations (CSOs) on President Peter Mutharika's administration of favouring his Lhomwe tribe.

The accusations were contained in the 10-point petition CSOs presented on April 27 this year after holding nationwide protests.

CSOs expressed concerns by the "Lhomwelisation" of the public service and public appointments.

They queried that all key positions in government are being held by people from the Lhomwe Belt--where Mutharika also comes from. The trend, they pointed out, is diluting the whole essence of national meritocracy-- doing things on merit.

But Capital Hill has denied the charges.

Responding to alleged concerns of nepotism by the Mutharika administration, Muhara said statistics on the ground show that positions in government are fairly distributed.

For instance, in the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal and High Court of Malawi, he said the Northern Region has 13 judges, the South has 10, Central Region has four and Eastern Region has nine.

In terms of senior servants, he said the Central Region has the most officers occupying grades A to E at 179 followed by the Southern Region with 158, Eastern Region--including Ntcheu District which in terms of administration is regarded as in the Central Region--has 144 and the North has 116.

Muhara said government also found the theme of the petition, Time to Reclaim Our Destiny, "misleading and unfortunate" as it insinuated that Malawians were being taken for granted, which was not the case.

Human Rights Defenders (HRD) chairperson Timothy Mtambo said the CSOs will soon meet to review the response and come up with a common position.

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