Critics Dissect Tonse Alliance Full Cabinet
President Lazarus Chakwera’s first full list of cabinet members has received mixed reactions from critics some of who think it is not inclusive as it focuses on political appeasement that has seen members of the same families taken on board.
Among those that have already voiced issues with the cabinet are the Public Affairs Committee-PAC, Human Rights Defenders Coalition and the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiative.
PAC spokesperson, Bishop Gilford Matonga, said his organization is particularly worried with the fact that family members have been appointed into cabinet which, he said, erodes public confidence.
Chairperson of the Human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC), Gift Trapence, this morning told reporters in the capital, Lilongwe that his organization will this afternoon meet Chakwera over rising public concerns about the composition of his first cabinet.
“We have received concerns from Malawians decrying the appointment of members of the same family. They are also raising issue with failure to adhere to the Tonse philosophy which the Tonse Alliance has been preaching,” said Trapence.
Trapence says they are engaging President Chakwera as the first option to getting the administration see that they could have done better.
Elsewhere, the Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives, has expressed it disappointment with the cabinet composition which is “contrary to expectations of many…".
CDEDI acting executive director, Sylvester Namiwa, says Malawians expected the new administration to do away with anything associated with dynasty rule and nepotism as this is what they detested with the previous Democratic Progressive Party administration.
Last evening, President Chakwera released a 31-member cabinet, which comprises 23 full ministers and eight deputy ministers.
Among other notable appointments, the Chakwera has named UTM Vice President, Michael Usi, and MCP Vice President, Sidick Mia as Ministers of Tourism, Culture, and Wildlife, and Transport and Public Works, respectively.
UTM and MCP’s Secretaries-General Patricia Kaliyati and Eisenhower Mkaka have been appointed Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare; and Minister of Foreign Affairs in that order.
The notable non-politicians in the cabinet include Zodiak Managing Director Gospel Kazako, now minister of information whereas former HRDC chairperson Timothy Mtambo has accepted the position of minister of civic education and national unity.
Lawyer Titus Mvalo is now minister of Justice.
There are also notable returnees to Cabinet. Former Minister of Finance under the Bingu wa Mutharika administration, Ken Kandodo has been named as Minister of Labour, while Rashid Gaffar, who also once served as deputy Minister under the same administration has returned as Minister of Mining. Roy Kachale Banda, son to former President Joyce Banda has also made the list as Minister of Industry.
Chakwera has also named other appointments to the heads of Reserve Bank, the Malawi Revenue Authority, and the National Intelligence Service.
Dr. Wilson T. Banda has replaced Dr. Dalitso Kabambe as Governor of the Central Bank, while John Bizwick has been appointed as Commissioner General for the revenue collecting body.
The new head of the National Intelligence Services is Dokani Ngwira.