Lilongwe, 9th July, 2020
BE DECISIVE MR. PRESIDENT, AVOID POPULIST AND APPEASEMENT POLICIES!
The Centre for Democracy and Economic Development Initiatives (CDEDI), while congratulating the State President Dr. Lazarus Chakwera for appointing a 31-member lean cabinet, would like to register our disappointment with the composition of the same.
CDEDI notes with regret that the cabinet comprises four clearly identified families that have been incorporated into the newly announced cabinet, when Malawi has over 18 million plus people. This is contrary to the expectation of many Malawians who expected a complete departure from business as usual that characterized the previous Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) regime.
To put the record straight, President Chakwera has through this cabinet list tried so hard to please and reward some families which we believe might have contributed financially, and/or materially towards the just ended political campaign. Unfortunately, this has been done at the expense of millions of capable and qualified Malawians within the Tonse Alliance and indeed Malawi in general. Such tendencies, if not properly checked, will throw us back to the same politics of appeasement which Malawians vehemently rejected on 23rd June, 2020 when they voted in large numbers for the Tonse Alliance.
Apart from the family dominance in the cabinet list, President Chakwera has appointed eight out of the twelve women as deputy ministers. Does this imply that women are not capable to serve as full cabinet ministers? Or let’s put it this way; are men not supposed to serve as deputies?
CDEDI has further noted with concern that some people have been entrusted with portfolios that do not resonate well with their skills and abilities.
A closer look at the list also reveals that out of the 28 districts in the country, Lilongwe has taken a bigger chunk of the ministerial positions, scooping seven positions, thereby beating the DPP record which had four positions in Thyolo only. This is happening at a time when Malawians thought they had done away with the politics of tribalism and regionalism. Is this the business unusual you have been preaching Mr. President? We at the CDEDI, are very optimistic that you, Mr. President, have departed from your sweet promises and you are now treading on a very dangerous path.
For the sake of progress, we are appealing to the president to be decisive and not to be distracted by politics of appeasement. CDEDI would like to remind President Chakwera that politics of appeasement has failed this country and should never be tried again.
Finally, we would like to reiterate our earlier call for the new administration to get quickly to serious business of saving Malawians from the shackles of nepotism, rampant corruption and stagnation that was bounded by the immediate past leadership of the DPP. Otherwise, it will be the same business as usual and if we are not careful, Malawi as a country will be moving in circles.
CDEDI is a non partisan, nongovernmental organization that was established in a quest to attain a well-informed and organized citizenry that can ably demand their social and economic rights at the same time hold duty bearers accountable for their actions.
Among many others CDEDI aims at sensitizing the masses on matters of national importance, inculcate the spirit of a peaceful coexistence among people of different ethnic, political and religious affiliations; provide civic education on people’s rights and responsibilities in economic independence and contribution towards national development and lobbying for the electoral law reforms.
ACTING EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR