Malawi: Chakwera Appoints New Boards - Mixture of Professionals and Reward for Patronage

24 September 2020

President Lazarus Chakwera has appointed board members for 67 parastatals, a move that has drawn a mixture of professionals, the clergy and the governing Tonse Alliance politicians.

According to a list from the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) released on Tuesday. There are also some traditional leaders on the list.

According to Secretary to President and Cabinent (SPC) Duvelious Zanga-Zanga Chikhosi, the appointments are effective September 23, 2020.

Governance commentator Makhumbo Munthali described the new boards as "mixed bag".

Munthali told Nyasa Times that it is "a combination of competence or expertise and reward for patronage. You clearly see some respected public intellectuals and patriotic professionals making it in the Boards a thing that gives some hope and confidence.

"However, there are also some names that are there simply because of the role they played to support Tonse to win the elections. So you see both merit/competence based appointments and thank you appointments."

Munthali said it is good that in the new board list there is no domination of traditional leaders being chairpersons of boards typical of previous regime.

The board for Public Procurement and Disposal of Assets (PPDA) comprises of lawyer John Suzi Banda as chairperson with professionals as members James Chimwaza, Sam Chimang'anga, representative of Malawi Institute of Engineers and Costance Musopole. SPC, Secretary to Treasury, Solicitor General and Controller of Statutory Corporation will be ex-officio members.

National Oil Company (Nocma) is headed by SPC. Its members include lawyer Innocencia Ottober, Malawi's retired Auditor General Reckford Kampanje , former Air Malawi chief executive officer (CEO) Esther Chioko and Feston Zambezi.

Electricity Supply Corporation of Malawi (Escom) is now headed by legal minds Chokani Mhango with private practice lawyer John Gift Mwakhwawa appointed in the board as member. Other members are Justice Isaac Mtambo (retired), Lloyd Katema, corporate executive Fredrick Changaya, Overton Mnadalasi, Dr Jacob Mazalale and George Mandele.

Malawi Energy Regulatory Authority (Mera) which was previously headed y Bishop Joseph Bvumbwe is now chaired by Managing Director at Times Group, Leonard Chikadya with members who included lawyer Pempho Likongwe, Thokozani Chimkono, Lameck Ntchembe and Alexander Kalanda.

The Malawi Communications Regulatory Board (Macra) has Dr Stanely Khaila as chairperson with members including Dr Boniface Dulani, Reverend Father Henry Saindi of Episcopal Conference of Malawi (ECM), Tamanza Chidzanja, Isacc Songea and Samuel Chilembwe Malitoli.

Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) chairperson is the Moderator of Nkhoma CCAP Synod, Reverend Vasco Kachipapa. Members include Reverend Father Jairus Mpina, Clement Nkuya, Steven Sembereka, MCP's former legislator Alekeni Wodala Menyani and Dr Limbikani Kamlongera.

People's Party (PP) secretary general Ibrahim Matola chairs the Southern Region Water Board and its members includes Hilda Kazembe, Lawrence Bisika, engineering Steve Mwanza, Prof Cosmo Ngongondo, Samson Kawalazira, Fr Willard Kamandani, Emily Mkandawire and Senior Chief Nkoola.

Lilongwe Water Board has George Kajanga as chairperson with members who include MCP regional chairperson for the centre Patrick Chilondola, Fr Mphatso Luzuwano, Henry Chete, Lenia Banda Bonongwe, Lingalireni Mihowa, Innocent Mphote, Alliance for Democracy (Aford) member Green Lulilo Mwamondwe and Tradional Authority Chilikumwendo.

Mafunde party president George Nnesa has abben appointed chairperson of Blantyre Water Board which has members including UTM Party official Dr Ben Chidyaonga, lawyer Noel Chalamanda, academician Elias Chizimba, Ndaona Vincent Muyaya, engineer Wellington Mandowa, Dr Faides Mwale, George Macheka, MCP regional chairman for the south Peter Simbi, Webster Kaonga and Traditional Authority Makata.

Another board comprising professionals, perhaps due to its nature and scope of work, is the Malawi College of Health Sciences, which is chaired by Dr William Mfitilodze, with Paul Mekani as vice chairperson, Mphatso Kawaye, Dr Tonney Nyirenda, Happy Makala, Dr Gerald Msukwa, John Nepiyala, Phoebe Nyasulu and Dr Getrude Mwalabu as members.

Umodzi Party president Dr John Chisi chairs Medical Council of Malawi which has professionals such as Dr Grace Chiudzu, Dr Agness Moses, Dr Dominic Moyo, Dr Yotamu Moyo, Elled Mwenyekonde, Dr Thandie Malukomo, Dr James Mchenga, Dr Bridon M'baya, Margret Msukwa and Dr Bertha Kamchacha Chikuse.

Roads Authority which was previously chaired by DPP politician Brown Mpinganjira is now headed by Joe Chin'gani with Byson Mpando as vice chairperson. Members include politician Ceasar Fatch, Patrick Khambadza, Evance Kadandiyani, Lameck Msamange, Francis Gondwe, Abdul Khan and Inkosi Mbelwa V.

Lilongwe Hndling Company has lawyer Gift Nankhuni as chairperson with Donata Kamwendo, Maria Chilinde, Martin Mainja, Rev Martin Mthiko, Sheikh Fahad Muhammed, Patrick Chinkhota and George Kamvulumvulu as members.

The Cannabis Regulatory Authority has MCP politician Boniface Kadzamira as its chair where UTM Party's Helen Chabunya is among the members.

Outspoken right activist Charles Kajolowe, a fierce critic of the former president Peter Mutharika, is board member of National Youth Council which is chaired by Maness Nkhata and MCP politician Edward Chileka is among the members.

On the other hand, MCP former legislator Kusamba Dzonzi is chairing the Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation (Admarc) board where another MCP member and former minister Dr Allan Chiyembekeza is among the members.

The President has also appointed Dennis Kalekeni to chair the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) and members include lawyer Marshall Chilenga, Rev Fletcher Kaiya and Reverend Father Emmanuel Chikaya.

FDH Financial Holdings Chairman Noel Nkulichi chairs the Malawi Posts Corporation while Prof Jack Wirima heads the University of Malawi board. Sam Kakhobwe chairs the Higher Education Students Loand and Grants Borad and Rodrcik Chingota has been appointed Sunbird Tourism Plc.

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