Malawi: New Ministers' Council Has a Nepotism Stamp, Opposition Says

President Lazarus Chakwera.

Malawi's new President Lazarus Chakwera has come under fire for going back on his electoral promises by appointing a Cabinet of recycled politicians and relatives of the powerful people.

Mr Chakwera came to power last month after defeating former president Peter Mutharika in a re-run of the 2019 presidential elections.

The Tonse Alliance leader picked a 30-member Cabinet dominated by his Malawi Congress Party (MCP).

His team is also dominated by members of prominent families, including that of founding leader Hastings Kamuzu Banda.

Kondwani Nankhumwa, the leader of the opposition, said the new Cabinet is underwhelming.

"It is an appeasement Cabinet," Mr Nhankhumwa said.

"Instead of doing things unusual as he promised during his inaugural address on the 6th of July he is doing things usual."

WORST CABINET

He said the Cabinet will not help end divisions in Malawi as it is dominated by politicians from the central region.

"This is probably the worst Cabinet that Malawians have ever seen," Mr Nhankhumwa added.

"It is simply not representative.

"I'm sorry to say that President Chakwera chose to place his loyalists in MCP and a few others from the United Transformation Movement over the future of the country.

"It is unacceptable for the president to choose members from the same families, including a couple, as Cabinet ministers when he promised a collective approach to governance."

RELATIVES IN CABINET

President Chakwera is under fire for appointing his former running mate in the 2019 elections Sadiq Mia as Transport minister and his wife Abida as Lands deputy minister.

He also appointed Kenny Kandodo as the new Labour minister while his sister Khumbize is the Health minister.

Critics say 70 per cent of the Cabinet is from the president's stronghold in the central region.

Some activists are already planning protests against President Chakwera saying he betrayed them.

Danwoood Chirasa, a law expert, said the new Cabinet did not tally with the new leader's pre-election promises.

RECYCLED POLITICIANS

"Crooks and known looters have been appointed, sending a clear message that all talk about ending corruption and all gimmicks about shutting down certain institutions to nip looting was window dressing," Mr Chirasa told the Nyasa Times.

"We have seen this before this before; Malawians are not that stupid. All we have is a collection of recycled politicians, spent forces, looters, privileged and spoilt sons of the powerful families and a few unknown additions," he added.

Malawi is one the poorest countries in the world and President Chakwera's election victory had brought hopes of a renaissance.

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