News / Africa

Malawi President Chooses New Cabinet

The new group eliminated 14 portfolios, but includes President Mutharika's wife and brother

Multimedia

Audio
Lameck Masina

The reshuffle follows July 20 protests against the worsening economic situation and daily shortages of fuel and foreign exchange despite official annual growth figures of 7 percent or more.

Among the changes is the removal of former finance minister Ken Kandodo, a grand nephew of the late dictator Kamuzu Banda and of the champion of the ‘zero-deficit budget.’  The French Press Agency says he wanted to use local resources to replace aid money lost when several donor nations cut their financial support over concerns about poor governance.

Noel Mbowela, a political science lecturer at Mzuzu University, said he wondered about the qualifications of some of the new appointees, including the new Minister of Finance, Ken Limpenga.

President Bingu wa Mutharika's new cabinet eliminates 14 posts.
President Bingu wa Mutharika's new cabinet eliminates 14 posts.

"One wonders the logic," he said, "behind appointing someone who is a linguist to the position of the finance minister that could befit someone with a background in economics.”

Besides Mr. Kandodo, other casualties include former local government minister Anna Kachikho, former development planning and cooperation minister Abbie Shawa,  and former foreign affairs minister Professor Etta Banda.

Former Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe now has a portfolio in Environment Ministry. The South Africa Press Agency says Gondwe, a former senior official of the IMF, will be tasked with trying to resume international aid flows to Malawi.  Nearly $100 million dollars in aid was suspended eight years ago due to concerns about government overspending.

The Malawi Democrat newspaper says government leader in parliament, Dr George Chaponda, who was serving as Justice Minister, has been posted to a post he once handled, the Ministry of Education.  Justice and Constitutional Affairs has been given to Ephraime Chiume.

Also returning to the cabinet, says the paper, is Information Minister Patricia ‘Akweni’ Kaliati who becomes government spokesperson and Henry Mussa as minister of public works.

It says Yunus Mussa has been appointed minister of Lands, Aaron Sangala as minister of Internal Security, Daniel Liwimbe as minister of tourism and Dr Jean Kalirani as health minister.  John Bande is minister of rade.

Political scientist Noel Mbowela said one of the biggest surprises in the new cabinet is the removal of the country’s vice president Joyce Banda.  She’s been a critic of the administration, and was expelled from the ruling party.

“This is a very big anomaly." he said, " because the vice president was elected through the vote, if anything she was supposed to appear just like the president in all the cabinet appointments.’’

The President’s younger brother and Democratic Progressive Party presidential candidate for 2014, Professor Arthur Peter Mutharika, has been moved from the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Mutharika’s wife Callista remains in the cabinet despite criticism from opposition politicians and civil rights groups who had demanded that the first lady should be confined to charity programs.

SAPA says the secretary of the presidency and the cabinet, Bright Msaka, said that the appointments were based on "individual merit, religion and gender balance."

The new members of the cabinet will be sworn in at New State House in the capital Lilongwe on Thursday.

You May Like

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video VOA EXCLUSIVE: US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs countermeasure at UN More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prisoni
X
Heather Murdock
July 01, 2015 8:59 PM
As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Nubians in Kenya Face Land Challenges

East Africa's ethnic Nubians have a rich cultural history that dates back thousands of years, but in Kenya they are facing hardships, including the loss of lands they have lived on for generations. They say the government has reneged on its pledge to award them title deeds for the plots. VOA's Lenny Ruvaga reports.
Video

Video Military Experts Question New Russian Tank Capabilities

Russia has been showing off its new tank design – the Armata T-14. Designers claim it is 20 years ahead of current Western designs - and driving it feels like playing a computer game. But military analysts question those assertions, and warn the cost could be too heavy a burden for Russia’s struggling economy. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs