President Chakwera of Malawi names relatives as ministers in his Cabinet

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Malawi President-elect Lazarus Chakwera receives a sword of office as commander-in-chief of the Malawi Armed Forces during his inauguration at the Kamuzu Baracks, the Malawi Defence Force Headquarters, in Lilongwe, July 6, 2020.

Newly elected Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera has named relatives as ministers in his new cabinet, sparking criticism.

The president’s former running mate in the 2019 elections Sidik Mia has been appointed minister for transport while his wife Abida Mia is the deputy minister for lands.

Kenny Kandodo is the new labour minister while his sister Khumbize Kandodo is the health minister.

Businessman Gospel Kazako has been appointed information minister and his sister-in-law Agnes Nkusa Nkhoma is the deputy agriculture minister.

President Chakwera’s previous appointee in the justice ministry lawyer Modercai Msiska refused to take up the position saying it would look like a reward for representing him in court during the case that nullified President Peter Mutharika’s election win.

The president criticised his predecessor for being nepotistic and filling his cabinet with people from his region.

Another criticism of President Chakwera’s cabinet is that it comprises more than 70 percent of people from the central region which happens to be his political stronghold.

Malawians online reacted to the appointments:

Alfie Saweta wrote: “I will not lie, I am greatly underwhelmed by the cabinet list. Perhaps our expectations were too high. Husband and wife and the wife’s cousin all in one cabinet, really?”

Hugo Mlewa wrote: “He should have avoided family relations, simple…son of…husband of…brother of… Work hard work hard while he is lazy appointing families…Chilima said Malawi is not a family affair… two families. And here he is approving families in cabinet.”