Malawi President Joyce Banda has hired a new 32-member Cabinet that includes faces from six political parties and an independent MP, but maintains a 25 percent upgraded womenâ€™s representation.
However, Bandaâ€™s highly anticipated Cabinet is no smaller than the late president Bingu wa Mutharikaâ€™s she replaced Thursday evening.
The fired Cabinet had three women as full ministers and five as deputies whereas Banda, the first female Head of State in southern Africa, has roped in six women as full ministers and two deputies.
Banda has included 17 Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) MPs, six legislators from her Peopleâ€™s Party (PP), Malawi Congress Partyâ€™s Rachel Zulu Mazombwe of Mchinji North as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and an independent, Eunice Makangala of Blantyre City Central Constituency as Minister of Labour.
It also includes two United Democratic Front (UDF) MPs, Atupele Muluzi (Economic Planning and Development) and Ibrahim Matola (Deputy Minister of Environment and Climate Change Management), according to a statement dated April 12 2012 signed by Chief Secretary to the Government Bright Msaka.
Alliance for Democracy (Aford) national chairperson Enock Chakufwa Chihana (Rumphi Central MP) has been hired as Minister of Youth and Sports with his secretary general Khwauli Msiska (Karonga Nyungwe) as Deputy Minister of Economic Planning and Development.
Congress for Democrats (Code) president Ralph Kasambara, who is not an MP, is Minister of Justice and Attorney General.
Notably, besides Vice-President Khumbo Kachali (PP vice-president), who is doubling as Minister of Health, Banda has not included any member of the PP top brass in the Cabinet.
In addition to being Commander-in-Chief of the Malawi Defence Force and the Malawi Police Service, the President is in charge of Public Service, Statutory Corporations, Civil Service Administration, National Relief and Disaster Management, and Nutrition, HIV and Aids.
Banda, who was Mutharikaâ€™s estranged vice-president, was sworn in as President in line with constitutional order on April 7 2012 after Mutharikaâ€™s sudden death from cardiac arrest.
On Good Friday (April 6 2012), the eve of the official announcement of Mutharikaâ€™s death, a group of six Cabinet ministers addressed a midnight news conference beamed live on Malawi Broadcasting Corporation (MBC) television which suggested that Banda could not assume the presidency as “there was no vacancy in government” and allegedly because she had formed an opposition party.
None of the sixâ€”Henry Mussa, Symon Vuwa Kaunda, Patricia Kaliati (who was fired two days into Bandaâ€™s presidency), Dr. Jean Kalilani, Kondwani Nakhumwa and Nicholas Dausiâ€”has been included in the new Cabinet.
Besides Chihana, Makangala, Muluzi, Matola and Mazombwe, new faces in Bandaâ€™s Cabinet include Thyolo North MP Anita Kalinde, Zomba Changalume MP Grace Zinenani Maseko, Zomba Nsondole MP Jennifer Chilunga, Dedza Central MP Sosten Gwengwe and Ntcheu West MP Chikumbutso Hiwa.
Comeback faces include Dr. Ken Lipenga (Finance), Ephraim Mganda Chiume (Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation), Chiradzulu South MP Eunice Kazembe (Education, Science and Technology), Nkhotakota South MP Dr. Cassim Chilumpha (Energy and Mining), Professor Peter Mwanza (Agriculture and Food Security), Mohammad Sidik Mia (Transport and Public Works), John Bande (Industry and Trade), Ritchie Muheya (Water Development and Irrigation), Blantyre Rural East MP Henry Phoya (Lands and Housing), Uladi Mussa (Home Affairs), Ken Kandodo (Defence), Daniel Liwimbi (Tourism and Culture) and Reen Kachere (Disability and Elderly Affairs).
Mzimba North East MP Catherine Gotani Hara, who spilled the beans about an illegal â€˜Cabinet meetingâ€™ that plotted to frustrate constitutional order in the succession after Mutharikaâ€™s death, has been promoted to a full Cabinet minister, but now at Environment and Climate Change Management.
- The new Cabinet has split the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning into two: Finance, and Economic Planning and Development.
- The Ministry of Home Affairs and National Defence has also been split into Home Affairs and Defence
- The Civic Education component has been removed from the Ministry of Information.
- Six women have been appointed full Cabinet ministers and two as deputies compared to three and five deputies in the previous Cabinet.
- CABINET LIST
- President: Mrs. Joyce Banda, also Commander in-Chief of Malawi Defence Force and Malawi Police Service, Minister responsible for the Public Service, Statutory Corporations, Civil Service Administration, National Relief and Disaster Management and Nutrition and HIV/Aids
- Vice-President and Minister of Health: Rt. Hon. Khumbo Kachali
- Finance: Dr Ken Lipenga MP
- Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation: Ephraim Mganda Chiume MP
- Education, Science and Technology: Eunice Kazembe MP
- Energy, Mining : Dr Cassim Chilumpha MP
- Gender, Children and Social Services: Anita Kalinde MP
- Economic Planning & Development: Atupele Muluzi MP
- Justice and Attorney General: Ralph Kasambara
- Agriculture and Food Security: Peter Nelson Mwanza MP
- Transport and Public Works: Sidik Mia MP
- Water Development and Irrigation: Ritchie Muheya MP
- Local Government and Rural Development: Grace Zinenani Maseko MP
- Information & Civic Education: Moses Kunkuyu MP
- Industry and Trade: John Bande MP
- Lands and Housing: Henry Phoya MP
- Home Affairs: Uladi Mussa MP
- Defence: Ken Kandodo MP
- Tourism and Culture: Daniel Liwimbi MP
- Labour: Eunice Makangala MP
- Environment and Climate Change Management: Catherine Gotani Hara MP
- Youth and Sports: Enoch Chakufwa Chihana MP
- Disability and Elderly Affairs: Reen Kachere MP
- Deputy Ministers
- Finance: Ralph Jooma MP
- Economic Planning and Development: Khwauli Msiska MP
- Gender, Children and Social Welfare: Jennifer Chilunga MP
- Local Government and Rural Development: Augustine Mtendere MP
- Transport and Public Works: Sosten Gwengwe MP
- Education, Science and Technology: Chikumbutso Hiwa MP
- Agriculture and Food Security: Ulemu Chilapondwa MP
- Environment and Climate Change Management: Ibrahim Matola MP
- Foreign Affairs: Rachel Zulu Mazombwe MP.