Many Malawians have said what Lazarus Chakwera has appointed is a "loan repayment cabinet".
Most appointments are evidently based on compensating people who are either owed money by Chakwera and Chilima or those who did work that never got paid for.
This is what Malawians on social media mean when they say "Angongole alanda Cabinet". Malawians are saying MCP debtors have hijacked or repossessed Cabinet or debtors have been given cabinet posts to make money for their campaign debts.
According to Professor Danwood Chirwa, "Crooks and known looters have been appointed, sending a clear message that all talk about ending corruption and all gimmicks are window dressing. We have seen this before, Malawians are not that stupid."
Chirwa also adds that the entire cabinet has been set to loot. He writes, "The entire cabinet stinks of incest, and the smell is quite frankly unbearable. Not only has it been set up so that some families loot not just one ministry but two or more ministries."
The simplest calculation should tell you these ministers will not be getting back their money from their salaries. There is no salary that can pay back the hundreds of millions Chakwera owes them. Chakwera is telling them to create deals that will make money for themselves. Chakwera has sanctioned massive theft and corruption of public funds already.
Let us look at the following cases:
1: Minister of Finance Felix Mlusu is owed K200 million which he borrowed from NBS Bank and sponsored the 2014 MCP campaign. This was in the public knowledge because the bank was publicly selling off Mr Mlusu's house in Mandala which Mlusu used as collateral for the bank loan. As a financier for MCP, Mlusu is here to get back his money.
2. Mordecai Msisha declined the post of Minister of Justice after public pressure. The fact remains that Chakwera appointed a man who worked as MCP lead lawyer in the Elections case and was never paid. Upon declining the post after the public raised the corruption/compensation issue, he said he feared people will think he is being compensated (which is what the public was saying). What is Chakwera talking about when he speaks of the rule of the law if he sanctions looting by rewarding those he owes money with ministerial jobs so that they pay themselves?
3. The Attorney General, Chikosa Silungwe, was the lead legal counsel for UTM and (like Modecai Msisha who declined the post) was not paid for his work. This is the MCP that wants to use "rule of law" as a rhetoric for fighting corruption?
4. Titus Mvalo, the current Minister of Justice is owed in millions by the MCP for working on the Elections case just like Silungwe and Msisha who declined the same post after public pressure. Chakwera has actually conned us because the appointment of Mordecai Msisha and Titus Mvalo are one and the same thing. Chakwera has only switched cards behind our backs. And let us remember that these are the same lawyers that are demanding K9 billion in legal fees from the same government.
5: The new Commissioner General for Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) John Bizwick once worked for the MRA and the ACB (Anti-Corruption Bureau) was set to investigate him for bribes and nepotism (story was in the media) for illegally giving a contract to a lawyer Henry Ngutwa whom MCP has now illegally appointed as the deputy to the same Commissioner General at the same MRA.
6: Minister of Information Gospel Kazako owes the leading private radio station (Zodiak) which did a lot of programming and advertising for MCP and UTM during the campaign. The arrangement was that Kazako would be paid when MCP gets in government. And Chakwera has appointed him Minister so that he help himself with government money
7: Minister of Mining, Rashid Gaffar, owns business in the mining industry and transport. The Gaffars are in the production of cement. Officials in the Ministry of Trade testify that Gaffar had been asking the DPP Government to waive taxes for his cement production. Whereas Gaffar was a DPP member, he was playing double standards by financing the UTM campaign on the understanding that a new government would support his cement industry. Gaffar has now been appointed to make policies for the cement industry among others.
8: Newton Kambala the Minister of Energy owns mines. He had been for long a key financier for UTM campaign. There is also huge amounts of money in MAREP contracts in the Ministry of Energy which Kambala will use to cash in and pay back what he spent for campaign.
This is what Danwood Chirwa means when he says the whole thing is a set up for corruption, theft and looting.