Malawi’s new President Lazarus Chakwera has responded to criticisms of nepotism in his cabinet appointments by saying that he will sack any underperforming ministers.
“You have to deliver, you have to work so that you are contributing to this process of rebuilding and if you don’t then you’re out.”
This follows after yesterdays complains from Malawians of him appointing people who are relatives as cabinet ministers.
Amongst the appointed ministers there is the new labour and health ministers are brother and sister, while the incoming information minister is the sister-in-law of the new deputy agriculture minister.
Chakwera’s former running mate in the 2019 elections, Sidik Mia, will serve as the transport minister while his wife will be the deputy minister for lands.
The Human Rights Defenders Coalition, which led sustained countrywide protests against the disputed 2019 elections, said there were “widespread concerns”.
“First is the issue of family members in the cabinet, such as husband and wife and brother and sister,” the coalition’s national coordinator, Luke Tembo, told AFP news agency. The second was regionalism, he said.
“We have noted that 70 percent of the ministers are from the central region and that Lilongwe alone has nine ministers, and we know that the president comes from Lilongwe,” he said.