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Malawi Announces Cabinet Reshuffle

President Bingu wa Mutharika on Wednesday appointed a 42-member bloated Cabinet, roping in nine new faces and occasioning two casualtiesformer Minister of Justice Bazuka Mhango and former Sports and Culture Minister Jafalie Mussain a third major reshuffle since he took over power in 2004.

The reshuffle has seen the creation of the Ministry of Presidential and Parliamentary Affairs and the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culturewhich has been carved from the ministries of Information and Tourism and Sports and Culture.
The President has brought in Lewis Kadammanja, Yunus Mussa, Felton Mulli, Boniface Chimpokosera, Roy Chizimba, Gift Mwamondwe, Billy Kaunda, Ellock Maotcha Banda and Olive Masanza as deputy ministers.

Mutharika has also appointed himself Minister of Education, Science and Technology and retained the Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security.

However, Institute for Policy Interaction (IPI) executive director Rafiq Hajat yesterday described Mutharikas Cabinet as too big and cumbersome for his work-load, saying by appointing himself to two key ministries, he has shown lack of trust in Malawians that are capable of handling such positions.

It is a major blow to the integrity, quality and competence of many eminent Malawians who could handle those ministries efficiently, said Hajat.

He said even at 32, people complained that the President had not lived up to his word that he would want to have a lean Cabinet.

Executive director for the Society of Accountants in Malawi (Socam) Hennox Mazengera said the increase may not be good for the economy because each minister will require funds for their ministries to meet their needsand expenditure will be out of control, contrary to the Presidents inaugural promise.

Mazengera said a lot of people applauded Mutharika for a lean Cabinetat 28when he assumed the presidency.
When Mutharika came to power, he selected a 28-member Cabinet which people hailed with reservations. The Cabinet, however, went up to 32 in 2005 and grew further to 36 last year. From 2004 to-date, the Cabinet has increased by 50 percent.

The United Democratic Front (UDF) also criticised Mutharika for appointing two of its MPsMussa and Mulliinto Cabinet, accusing the Head of State of not consulting the party.

UDF spokesperson Sam Mpasu said there is nothing the party can do to the two because it (the UDF) was not consulted and also that the two have not briefed the party on their appointments.

Commenting on the two additional ministries Mutharika has taken, Mpasu said the President has a little too much responsibilities and it would be problematic to meet them (the responsibilities).

But newly-christened Minister of Information and Civic Education Patricia Kaliati defended Mutharikas Cabinet, saying the President has realised there are more activities in government that require political will.

Government has policies that it wants to achieve and such numerous activities require political will, she said.
She, however, could not say why Mhango and Jaffalie Mussa have been fired.

Mutharika has this time around recognised Cassim Chilumpha as Vice-President in the new Cabinet which has 20 full ministers and 20 deputies. But he has not directly allocated Chilumpha any responsibilities as is the case with the ministers.

Davis Katsonga, who previously was Minister of Defence, has been appointed Minister for Presidential and Parliamentary Affairs. Bob Khamisa is now Minister of National Defence, moving from the Ministry of Internal Security which is now under Ernerst Malenga. His deputy is Symon Vuwa Kaunda.

Minister of Justice is Henry Phoya, Labour is under Anna Kachikho, with Chimpokosera as her deputy. Marjorie Ngaunje has been retained as Minister of Health and her deputy is Mulli, an MP from Phalombe. The Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture is under Callista Chimombo and her deputy is musician Billy Kaunda.

Goodall Gondwe is still Minister of Finance and his deputy is Kadammanja. The Ministry of Education has two deputiesOlive Masanza, an independent MP from Mulanje, and Richard Msowoya, who was Minister responsible for Disaster Preparedness.

Joyce Banda is still Minister of Foreign Affairs and her deputy is Henri Mumba. The Ministry of Trade and Industry still falls under Ken Lipenga and his deputy is Maotcha Banda.

Henry Chimunthu Banda has been maintained as Minister of Energy and Mines. Mwamondwe has been roped in as Deputy Minister of Transport, Public Works and Housing. Chizimba is Deputy Minister of Economic Planning and Development whose Minister is Tedson Kalebe.

Sidik Mia and his deputy Frank Mwenefumbo have been retained as minister and deputy, respectively, for the Irrigation and Water Development Ministry.

The Cabinet has only six women. At 14.6 percent, this is still a set back to the 30 percent Sadc requirement.

NEW CABINET LIST

State President & Commander-In-Chief of the Malawi Defence Force & Malawi Police Service- His Excellency Dr. Bingu Wa Mutharika

Minister for Presidential and Parliamentary Affairs Hon. Davis Katsonga

Vice President Right Hon. Dr. Cassim Chilumpha, SC

Minister of Agriculture and Food Security His Excellency Dr. Bingu Wa Mutharika
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Security Hon. Binton Kutsaira

Minister of Education, Science and Technology His Excellency Dr. Bingu Wa Mutharika
Deputy Ministers Hon. Olive Masanza & Hon Richard Msowoya

Minister of Finance - Hon. Goodal Gondwe
Deputy Hon. Lewis Kadammanja

Minister of Foreign Affairs Hon. Joyce Banda
Deputy Hon. Henri Mumba

Minister of Industry and Trade Hon. Dr. Ken Lipenga
Deputy Hon. Ellock Maotcha Banda

Minister fo Energy and Mines Hon. Chimunthu Banda
Deputy Hon. Roy Commsy

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development Hon. Dr. George Chaponda
Deputy Hon. Davie Ngulinga

Minister of Transport, Public Works and Housing Hon. Henry Mussa
Deputy Hon. Gift Mwamondwe

Minister of Economic Planning and Development Hon Tedson Kalebe
Deputy Hon. Chidzimba

Minister Irrigation and Water Development Hon. Sidik Mia
Deputy Hon Frank Mwenefumbo

Minister of Defence Hon. Bob Khamisa

Minster of Information and Civic Education Hon. Patricia Kaliati
Deputy Hon. John Bande

Minister of Lands and Natural Resources Hon Khumbo Chirwa
Deputy Hon. Rashid Gaffar

Minister of Home Affairs and Internal Security Hon. Ernest Malenga
Deputy Hon. Symon Vuwa Kaunda

Minister of Justice Hon. Henry D. Phoya

Minister of Labour Hon. Anna Kachikho
Deputy Hon Boniface Chimpokosera

Minister of Health Hon. Marjorie Ngaunje
Deputy Hon. Felton Mulli

Minister of Women and Children Development Hon. Kate Kainja-Kaluluma
Deputy Hon. Aaron Sangala

Minister of Youth Development and Sports Hon. Khumbo Kachali
Deputy Hon. Charles Mchacha

Minister of Persons with Disabilities and the Elderly Hon. Clement Khembo
Deputy Hon. Yunus Mussa

Minister of Tourism, Wildlife and Culture Hon Callista Chimombo
Deputy Hon. Billy Kaund

| 11 May 07



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