Malawi President Lazarus Chakwera has defended the decision to appoint his daughter Violet Chakwera to a diplomatic mission in Brussels saying people did not complain when Violet was on the road campaigning with him and taking care of his campaign team.
“In fact, people did not say anything at all when I crisscrossed this country with my daughter campaigning and she taking care of those who were doing that,” said President Chakwera in an interview with CNN.
The president appeared to concede that his daughter was appointed to the mission, contradicting his earlier stance when he was interviewed by the BBC.
He, however, distanced himself saying it was the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which appoints people in other diplomatic positions.
“I appoint ambassadors and deputy ambassadors. It is the ministry of foreign affairs that appoint workers in other grades following needed procedures and processes that this one qualifies and this one doesn’t qualify.”
Eisenhower Nduwa Mkaka, Foreign Affairs Minister, also told Zodiak this week that, Chakwera’s daughter was indeed appointed to the diplomatic mission in Brussels “On a lower position being Malawian”.
Ironically, Chakwera oversees underpinnings of any ministry including that of Foreign Affairs as the President is the Head of the Cabinet which, in theory, means Chakwera appointed his daughter to the role.
The decision to send Violet to Brussels was described as fake news by Chakwera in an interview with BBC, despite State House initially defending the decision saying Violet is Malawian and qualified for the role.
“She is qualified and capable to do the job. The only sin is that she is the president’s daughter. That is unfair and worrisome,” said the then State House Press Secretary, Brian Banda in July.
Banda further argued that Violet Chakwera, said to have been appointed as third undersecretary to the mission, went through normal recruitment processes and she was vetted, a line that President Chakwera evidently towed in his interview with CNN.
But according to her LinkedIn profile, the president’s daughter obtained her degree from a ‘Jerusalem’ University banned in the country for operating without accreditation. She also claims on her profile to have an IATA training certification.
She previously worked as reservation sales agent for Kenyan Airways and Malawi airlines. After the scandal broke, State House revealed that the president’s daughter had now been appointed as Personal Assistant of her mother, First Lady Monica Chakwera.
Chakwera’s U-turn is not all shocking having illustrated such traits in previous occasions. The U-turn which depicted in his CNN interview with regards to his daughter’s appointment was picked up by Mkaka – suggesting it is the set of propaganda State House will now parrot – after singing the song that the President sung on BBC’s Hard Talk.