Malawi's President Chakwera Says Cabinet to Be Lean With 40 Percent Women Representation

Dr Lazarus Chakwera

President Dr Lazarus Chakwera has said he would appoint a full "lean" cabinet - which will have no less than 40 percent of women - as he works towards putting together a functional government to rebuild the country's comatose economy left by his predecessor Peter Mutharika.

The new Malawi leader made the announcement Monday afternoon at his private residence in Area 6 in Lilongwe during the swearing in ceremony of the new appointees to Cabinet and other senior government positions.

Chakwera also said his full cabinet, which will be released before his inauguration on Independence Day will have no more than 30 members including more women to ensure that they are adequately represented in his administration.

"I have made these appointments in consultation with the Vice President because these positions are critical in the smooth transition from the old administration to this new one. A full cabinet, which will have no more than 30 members will be released before our inauguration on 6 July.

"To ensure that there is enough representation of women in our administration, not less than 40 percent of the Cabinet will be composed of women," Chakwera said.

The Head of State then called upon the new appointees to ensure that they are prioritizing serving the nation over everything else.

"Your performance will be judged on how happy the Malawi people are. That is your service. All of us are servants to Malawians and ensure that when discharging your functions," Chakwera advised.

Commenting on the development, NGO Gender Coordination Network Chairperson, Barbara Banda said while the announcement is commendable, demonstration of the administration's commitment to gender equality should have started with first few appointments.

"We receive the news with some reservations because the first appointments are only men and that's partriachal. The impression is that these are the big boys crucial to the administration and women will only be considered in the next appointments.

"It suggests that these are the people who are taking lead in the administration. We would have loved to have this gender consideration right from the off, and not just done as an appeasement," Banda said.

President Chakwera on Monday made a number of appointments to Cabinet and Government, which include the appointment of Vice President Saulos Chilima as Minister of Economic Planning and Development and Public Sector Reforms, Felix Mlusu as Minister of Finance, Mordechai Msisha as Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Richard Chimwendo Banda as Minister of Homeland Security.

The President has also appointed Chikosa Silungwe as Attorney General and Zangazanga Chikhosi as Chief Secretary to the Government, among others.

Chakwera was sworn in Sunday morning as Malawi's 6th President following his victory in Tuesday's fresh presidential election when he defeated former President, Arthur Peter Mutharika.

More From: Nyasa Times

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