Malawi president Joyce Banda has replaced former Economic Planning and Development Minister Goodall Gondwe with former Deputy Minister of Finance Ralph Jooma.
Gondwe resigned on Friday following his arrest on treason charges in connection with an alleged plot to stop Banda from ascending to the presidency after the death of Bingu wa Mutharika in April 2012.
One of the key issues on Jooma’s table is to oversee the implementation of the Economic Recovery Plan (ERP) which could decide the future of Banda’s presidency.
Malawi Government spokesperson Moses Kunkuyu confirmed the elevation of Jooma who, he said, has been replaced by Dr Cornelius Mwalwanda as Deputy Minister of Finance.
Kunkuyu said the appointments are with effect from last Friday.
Jooma on Saturday said he was happy to have been entrusted with such a challenging ministry, particularly at a time the country’s economy is wobbling.
He said he is a charted accountant and holds a Bachelor’s degree in accountancy from the Polytechnic, University of Malawi.
He said he has worked as an auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers, among other roles.
Mwalwanda asked to be called later as he was at Chileka International Airport to see off the President to Scotland.
Mwalwanda, who also served as Deputy Minister of Finance during the late Bingu wa Mutharika’s regime, holds a PhD in economics, specialising in international trade and finance, from the University of Toronto, Canada.
He has served as a member of the National Advisory Council on Strategic Planning, chairperson of Parliamentary Committee on Commerce, Industry and Tourism, principal adviser and head of ECA Geneva Office United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) and deputy general manager (Economic Services) at the Reserve Bank of Malawi.