University of Livingstonia political scientist George Phiri has warned President Lazarus Chakwera against having too many advisers, saying they may burden taxpayers and affect his decision-making.
He was reacting to reports that the President has appointed three more advisers.
Phiri said Chakwera should capitalise on the ministers and principal secretaries for the right advice, adding having an adviser for every sector may lead to conflicts between ministries and advisers.
“He does not need to have advisers for every sector. Ministries are where he can get advice from experts. There are also several agencies where he can get advice,” he warned.
The new appointments bring the number of advisers to 12. Former president Peter Mutharika had a team of seven advisers on political affairs, economic affairs, civil society, religion, domestic policy, parliamentary and national unity and on women affairs.
Among those appointed are Malawi Congress Party (MCP) campaign director Moses Kunkuyu as adviser on chiefs matters; Lilongwe North East legislator (MCP) Maxwell Thyolera as adviser on parliamentary affairs; and People’s Party (PP) vice-president (South) Ephraim Chibvunde as adviser on political affairs.
In an interview on Tuesday, Chibvunde confirmed his appointment, saying he has since accepted it.
He said: “It’s true that I have been appointed. I have accepted the challenge and I am grateful to the President for entrusting me with the role.”
Chibvunde pledged to promote politics of unity, saying the President has always emphasised on the same. We need to promote civilised politics,” he said.
In a separate interview, Kunkuyu also confirmed his appointment, but declined to say more on the matter as he was yet to get written communication on his role.
He said: “It is a bit premature because I have not received any written communication to detail the scope of the work. But on the information that I am to advise the President on chiefs and their contributions towards the development agenda, that I can confirm that it has been communicated to me.”
Efforts to talk to Thyolera proved futile as his phone was out of reach.
Earlier, the President appointed UTM Party campaign director Lucius Banda as adviser on arts and youth; former Association of People with Albinism coordinator Overstone Kondowe as adviser on disability and persons with albinism; the Reverend Brian Kamwendo as special adviser on religious affairs; Sheikh Hashim Abbas as deputy special adviser on religious affairs; Adamson Mkandawire as chief adviser on rural transformation and development; Dr Samson Lembani as chief adviser on public policy and governance; Chris Chaima Banda as chief adviser on strategy and manifesto implementation; and Collen Zamba as chief adviser on sustainable development goals and international relations.