Malawi president under scrutiny for family appointments to cabinet

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Malawi citizens have voiced out their anger after newly appointed President Lazarus Chakwera unveiled a cabinet that they said was tainted by family ties.
Chakwera, 65, comfortably beat Peter Mutharika with 58.5 percent of the vote in last month’s election, marking the first time in African history that an election rerun led to the defeat of an incumbent.
On Wednesday night, the new president announced a 31-member cabinet that included six figures who are related to each other, although not to the president.
The new labour and health ministers are brother and sister, while the incoming information minister is the sister-in-law of the new deputy agriculture minister.
Meanwhile, Chakwera’s former running mate in the 2019 elections, Sidik Mia, will serve as the transport minister while his wife will be the deputy minister for lands.
Social activist Mkotama Katenga-Kaunda said the move was disappointing as the incumbent had promised while addressing that Malawi will get rid of nepotism and cronyism.
Malawians feel that these cabinet posts were not awarded to some individuals based on merit, but based on what monetary support they gave to the alliance during the campaign, he added. Also Danwood Chirwa, a professor of law at the University of Cape Town, described the nominations as “political patronage”saying that the president has quickly transformed himself into a good salesman of words and rhetoric while serving the same stale dishes Malawians have fed on in the last 26 years while gender activist Emma Kaliya also described the cabinet as a raw deal.
Sean Kampondeni, Chakwera’s spokesperson said in his statement that President Chakwera will himself address those concerns soon. Africa-News reports.

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