It’s a family affair: Chakwera releases cabinet


…Kaliati returns, Kazako and Mtambo join

The wait is over. After days of being told to wait for a new full cabinet with a 40% representation of women, State President Lazarus Chakwera has this night delivered a 31 man cabinet expected to leave an impression on Malawians in his first 100 days of office.

The cabinet which has incorporated some members of the Tonse Alliance has come amidst heavy expectations from a section of Malawians.

Notable in the cabinet is former Minister and UTM Secretary General Patricia Kaliati, a former of opposition Democratic Progressive Party. Under the leadership of Lazarus Chakwera, Kaliati has been appointed the Minister of Community Development and Social Welfare.

Vocal activist Timothy Mtambo has also been awarded a Ministerial position to head the Ministry of Civic Education and National Unity. Broadcaster and Zodiak Broadcasting Station Owner Gospel Kazako has also been appointed into the cabinet where he will head the Ministry of Information.

MCP Vice President for the South who was also Chakwera’s runningmate in the 2019 poll Sidik Mia has also joined the cabinet where he will be heading the Ministry of Transport. His wife Abida Mia has also been gifted a Ministerial position where she will be a deputy in the Ministry of Lands which will be headed by Kezzie Msukwa.

The 31 man cabinet has already started attracting mixed comments with most people experiencing disappointment over the dominance of some families in the cabinet. Apart from the Mia affair, an in-law to Kazako has also been appointed into the cabinet. Agnes Nkusa Nkhoma, a sister to Kazako’s late wife, has been appointed as deputy minister in the Ministry of Agriculture.

The Kandodo family has also seen two appointments with former minister of Finance in the Bingu wa Mutharika government, Ken Kandodo, appointed as Minister of Labour where he will be deputised by rookie Vera Kamtukule. Sister to Kandodo, Khumbize Kandodo has meanwhile been appointed as the Minister of Health.

Others have also faulted the appointment of businessman Rashid Gaffar into the cabinet. Gaffar has been appointed to head the Ministry of Mining.

Whereas a lot of Malawians expected that the cabinet appointments will be on merit, most have left a bitter taste in the mouths of Malawians including the appointment of Joyce Banda’s son, Roy Akajuwe Kachale-Banda as Minister responsible for Industries.