Marital status was not considered when selecting cabinet – Chakwera


President Lazarus Chakwera has defended his cabinet saying marital status was not considered when he was forming his cabinet.

The Malawi leader has come under fire from Malawians for selecting family members in his cabinet announced on Wednesday.

Malawians have especially condemned the inclusion of husband and wife – Sidik Mia and Abida Mia – as well as siblings Khumbize Kandodo Chiponda and Ken Kandodo in the cabinet.

Speaking to the BBC on Thursday, Chakwera defended his cabinet saying the issues people have raised were not considered during the formation of the cabinet.

“We just wanted to look at merit. We are the largest party as MCP (Malawi Congress Party) but we also have the alliance that we had gone into agreement. And trying to balance political and other issues led to that [cabinet],” said Chakwera.

Asked about Professor Danwood Chirwa’s comments that the cabinet lacks novelty and is an incestuous cabinet, Chakwera said Chirwa did not look at the inclusion of youth, women and various groups from the North to the South.

“What they have zeroed in on is one or two things that we are discussing with civil society groups and all Malawians. We will face these things and I will be addressing the nation tomorrow and I will tackle everything because I said I will be a listening president as a servant, I want to do exactly that,” said Chakwera.

On Thursday Chakwera met with human Rights Defenders Coalition (HRDC) leaders where they discussed concerns over the cabinet.