Chakwera reshuffle brings surprises, shake up Malawi government; women get top posts including OPC

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Zangazanga Chikhosi - OPC shake up expected to affect him

LILONGWE (MalawiTalk)  – President Dr Lazarus Chakwera’s reshuffle of ministers in cabinet positions will come with a shake-up in the Office of President and Cabinet (OPC) with women positioned to get top positions and drafted into his Cabinet in line with the  expression of the Gender Equality Act which demand 60 to 40 representation of either gender, MalawiTalk has learnt.

Chakwera is expected to crack the whip on dead wood and infuse new thinking in his government’s technocrats which may see Chief Secretary to Government Mr Duvelious Zangazanga Chikhosi be a casualty.

“Its’ s big shake up and women have been given prominent positions in government,” said a top official at State House close to President Chakwera.

Currently, the President has 12 female ministers, representing 38 percent of the Cabinet. Only four women are full ministers while all eight deputy ministers are women.

The Cabinet will also see some “untouchable” ministers being redeployed to other portfolios and that Chakwera has spread posts nationwide not as it is in the current Cabinet where his native Lilongwe District has been dominating posts.

Chakwera has also filled two ministerial positions which were left vacant following death of Mr Sidik Mia and Mr Lingston Belekanyama who were ministers for Transport and Local Government respectively.

The President made the pledge to review this controversial Cabinet following a public outcry on the composition of his first 31-member Cabinet which he appointed on July 9 2020.

This will be Chakwera’s first Cabinet reshuffle since winning the court-sanctioned fresh presidential election held on June 23 2020.

A political analyst Mr George Phiri from the University of Livingstonia said it is “obvious some ministers have underperformed” and they must be fired as per Chakwera’s promise.

Zangazanga Chikhosi – OPC shake up expected to affect him

During the swearing-in of his Cabinet, Chakwera, who is also leader of Malawi Congress Party, was compelled to say he had appointed a transitional Cabinet after he received a backlash for appointing family members, perceived incompetent people who found their way because they allegedly funded the campaign, forgoing gender and regional balance as well as the restructuring of some key ministries.

A day after the Cabinet appointment, Human Rights Defenders Coalition met Chakwera and asked him to, among others, reconstitute his Cabinet to meet the aspirations of the people.

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